Andrew Nagata, Developer in Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Andrew Nagata

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Unity Developer

Los Angeles, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
November 14, 2022

Andrew is a hybrid software engineer and designer passionate about building technology products that delight, entertain, and enhance human performance. He has a build-first mentality, always encouraging exploratory prototyping to hone in on where technology can best serve people, culture, and customers. Focused on iOS development, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR), Andrew has spent over nine years designing and building software at the cutting edge of consumer experience.


Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Unity, Apple Watch...
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Unity, Java, Arduino, GitHub, Unity3D, SOLIDWORKS, 3D Modeling, 3D Printing...
BCG Digital Ventures
iOS, Arduino, GitHub, Xcode, Objective-C, Bluetooth LE, 3D Printing...




Preferred Environment

Xcode, Unity

The most amazing...

...thing I've done is taking a connected device from a napkin sketch idea to factory production overseas, gaining invaluable learnings.

Work Experience


2018 - PRESENT
  • Founded a creative tech practice helping clients design, prototype, and build digital experiences for iOS and Unity3D. Published multiple apps and games, taking the lead in transforming initial ideas into finished products.
  • Published Follothru, an Objective-C iOS app to help golfers record their swings. Used OpenCV with CoreML to classify video frames. Used Firebase for authentication, cloud storage, and notifications. Subscriptions are managed through Apple payments.
  • Built SplatMachine, a Swift iOS AR app that allows holders to place their NFTs in the world around them. Created video and photo capture to make sharing a breeze. Used WalletConnect for authentication and OpenSea REST API to query on-chain data.
  • Created CrossyToad, a 3D platform game in Unity3D and C#that allows holders of Frogland NFTs to log in and play with a unique NFT. I was the gameplay engineer and designer. My team used GitHub and GitFlow to manage development with CI/CD tasks.
  • Published Piñata Party, a multiplayer VR fitness game in Unity3D for Oculus Mobile. Completed the concept, design, and engineering. IMU sensor data and custom ML classifiers are used to drive player locomotion and Photon Engine for multiplayer.
  • Built Apple Watch companion apps in Objective-C. Apps used background and CoreMotion processing for user notifications. Integrated Apple Health and conformed to all Apple guidelines, enabling successful submission to the App Store.
  • Created ML tools to build datasets and train classifiers. Used custom IMU integration using Arduino over Bluetooth and video frame analysis using OpenCV preprocessing. Realtime classification performed in Objective-C, C++, C#, and CoreML.
  • Developed marketing collateral for several projects with Adobe CC. Designed images, logos, videos, documentation, and websites for several products, including all required materials for publication on Apple App Store and Oculus Store.
  • Hired remote UI/UX designers, illustrators, concept artists, sound designers, and algorithm engineers to assist in building projects. Worked directly with each individual, ensuring deliverables were on-time, on budget, and up to quality standards.
Technologies: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Unity, Apple Watch, Machine Learning, Swift 5, C#, Objective-C, Objective-C++, Web3, Bluetooth LE, Core Location, Core Bluetooth, ARKit, Firebase, Firebase iOS SDK, OpenCV, Python, Arduino, Internet of Things (IoT), iOS, GitHub, Unity3D, Games, GitFlow, Xcode, Swift, SwiftUI, Creative Tech

System Software Engineer V

2018 - 2019
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Led software development and creative tech in Unity3D for a room-scale display of the GRACE-FO mission. Collaborated with designers while working directly with stakeholders to define all requirements and build a custom app and CMS.
  • Created a tool in Unity3D to design room-scale mechanical sculptures celebrating JPL's mechanical engineering group. The app enabled users to "sketch" complex mechanical sculptures in VR that combined robotics, algorithmic motion, and architecture.
  • Built a 20-foot high data visualization driven by real-time data from NASA's Deep Space Network.
  • Developed controlling software in Java and designed the physical piece in Solidworks. Created a separate Java client to control the final installation remotely.
  • Designed and engineered functional prototypes for room-scale installations using Arduino, Dynamixel actuators, custom LED displays, and custom 3D-printed parts.
Technologies: Unity, Java, Arduino, GitHub, Unity3D, SOLIDWORKS, 3D Modeling, 3D Printing, Virtual Reality (VR), Creative Tech

Lead Design Technologist

2014 - 2017
BCG Digital Ventures
  • Built an iOS app in Objective-C to be used in clinical trials for a health and wellness device. The app was used with a wearable device to record fetal heartbeats. Used a custom REST API with AWS to store patient data and compressed audio.
  • Created a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) library for iOS, written in Objective-C for a connected wellness device. The library was consumed in multiple connected iOS apps allowing transmission of heart rate data, motion, and activity data.
  • Designed hardware architecture for an intelligent dog collar and a fetal heart rate monitor. Devices integrated multiple MCUs, audio sensors, IMUs, BLE radios, LED displays, and OTA updates. Functional prototypes built with Arduino and custom PCBs.
  • Developed a macOS app in Objective-C to run an end-of-line testing machine during factory production of our connected health device. Using a custom fetal simulator, the app performed a final radio and functionality test. AQL's defective rate was below 2%.
  • Led internal innovation lab consisting of a small team of hardware, software, and industrial design experts. The lab delivered production software, firmware for connected products, and functional prototypes.
Technologies: iOS, Arduino, GitHub, Xcode, Objective-C, Bluetooth LE, 3D Printing, Objective-C++, Swift, Creative Tech

Creative Technologist

2013 - 2014
  • Developed simulation in Unity3D to explore a future in which thousands of UAVs roam the urban air space. This gallery installation ran continuously, showing an ever-changing environment. Viewers could enter the world through a companion iOS app.
  • Created a prototype for a mechanical visualization of global earthquake data for CalTech. Built a Java client to consume global earthquake data and communicate with an Arduino-driven sculpture containing over 50 individual actuators.
  • Built an Arduino toolkit composed of sensors for GPS, motion, presence, and LED displays for use in design education. The kit was a resource for designers to use pre-built components with code in their projects.
Technologies: Unity, Unity3D, Arduino, 3D Modeling, 3D Printing, iOS, Xcode, Creative Tech

An Objective-C iOS app that helped golfers record their swing and track improvements by providing a visual diary of progress over time. The goal was to create an app that made swing recording automatic. We developed a custom classifier for recognizing swings to detect swings, edit them down, and save them in the user's journal.

This project was internally incubated and funded. I performed all the product development and engineering while working with contract UI designers to generate the look and feel.

The app uses Firebase for authentication, notifications, cloud storage, and database management. With a paid subscription, users could upload unlimited videos and use the app across multiple iOS devices.

The classifier was created using hundreds of swing videos scraped from social media. The app uses OpenCV to pre-process video frames for classification using Apple's Core ML.

An Apple Watch app was included to offer control of the app from a distance.

An iOS app written in Objective-C that helps golfers putt under pressure. DigiPutt is a putting game that turns an iPhone into a hole by using a combination of real-time image classification and Core Motion. To score well, the user must make several putts in a row from random distances. The app tracks every session and keeps a running "handicap" of the player's ability.

The app uses OpenCV to pre-process video frames and Core ML to determine if the user has attempted a putt. Capturing hundreds of putts to train a classifier presented a challenge. Therefore a separate app and Bluetooth device were created to capture and record processed images of a ball rolling.

This project was internally incubated and funded. I led the development of the entire app from start to finish, including the UI/UX, engineering, machine learning, product design, and publication.

Piñata Party
Piñata Party is a multiplayer VR game where players run in place to collect as much candy as possible. Designed to be a light form of exercise, players run in place to compete. It allows up to four players to compete from anywhere.

The game was written in C# with the Unity game engine. Machine learning tools were created in tandem to build custom motion classifiers for locomotion. Combining motion data from the headset and controllers, the game could accurately detect whether a player was at rest, jogging, or running.

This project was internally incubated and funded. I was in charge of all product design, UI/UX, engineering, game design, and publication, and I worked with contractors to perform initial concept art and sound design.
2011 - 2013

Master's Degree in Media Design

ArtCenter College of Design - Pasadena, California, USA

1993 - 1997

Bachelor's Degree in Art History

Williams College - Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA


Firebase iOS SDK, OpenCV


Adobe Creative Suite, GitHub, Xcode, SOLIDWORKS


iOS, Arduino, Apple Watch, Bluetooth LE, Firebase


Swift 5, C#, Objective-C, Swift, Python, Java


Unity, Unity3D, Core Location, ARKit, Core Bluetooth, SwiftUI


Data-informed Visual Design, Design Thinking


Interaction Design (IxD), Virtual Reality (VR), 3D Printing, Creative Tech, Critical Thinking, Writing & Editing, Augmented Reality (AR), Objective-C++, Internet of Things (IoT), Games, Machine Learning, Web3, Multiplayer, 3D Modeling, GitFlow, 3D Games, Gameplay Development

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