Inspiration

Our focus is to connect people around the globe by building a platform that hosts conferences in virtual reality. Imagine the convenience of meeting anyone, from anywhere, and at any time -- all from the comfort of your home or office. Large, popular, and influential events like Google I/O, Grace Hopper, etc. often get sold out before everyone who wants to can purchase a ticket. Our infinitely scalable platform eliminates this problem. We disrupt the constraints of the physical world (space, time), and open up the opportunity for you to connect with your stakeholders and audience in an enhanced reality. We see virtual reality as an elegant solution to not only language barriers, but also the inefficiencies, expenses, and discomforts of physically traveling to interact with others.

The potential of our project is as scalable as our platform. Virtual reality is not only a solution, it is the future. What’s most exciting is that our platform opens up a new marketplace for businesses around the world to connect, network, and make an impact.

What it does

Full conference and live communication in virtual reality from anywhere in the world! In our prototype, we've created a lobby, a webinar room, and a conference room where participants can talk and engage in real time.

Significant Problems Addressed:

Discriminatory barriers in terms of social, geographic, and financial conditions. High costs with regard to travel time and conference cost Limited participants

What we learned

This was a very ambitious project for our team -- especially considering that none of us have worked with VR before. Each and every one of us had to overcome steep learning curves in order to work with multiple different technologies with which we were not familiar.

Main things we learned: -Working with Unity -Multiplayer communication and networking -3D design for virtual reality

Problems we ran into:

We ran into a lot of incompatibility problems, as our project involves several different pieces of technology. So we had to think outside the box in order to make our devices compatible. -First, our Alienware laptops had an embedded graphic card that is incompatible with the current version of the Oculus runtime. With that, we had to hack our way to downgrade the current run time on our computer, edit some of the registry logs, and disable error reporting in order for the Oculus to be compatible. -Finding an ultimate back-end platform for our multiplayer platform and enabling voice so that everyone inside our platform can talk to each other was also a challenge. -When we tried to set up the speech to text, text to speech API, our backend platform did not accept sound so we had to convert our audio clip’s 0.5 second frame -> convert to float -> convert to byte -> send it to the rest of the players of the network -> converted back to float -> converted back to sound so there was a little delay when it come to receiving the sound. -Setting up the Oculus and getting it to display properly along with the position tracker was extremely challenging.

What's next for ConferenceVR

Web Interface for corporations, schools, etc. to customize their conference area. Live speech translation to allow for language-independent global communication.

We hope to add in more features such as Facebook authorization, having profile pictures that are parsed from Facebook, population/attendance for data visualization, and much more. There is no end to the number of new features that can be integrated with our platform.

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