Our inspiration sparked when we came across an article that talked about virtual technologies which we found it very fascinating due to the huge dimensions of it and the possible exciting use cases of it. Various feedbacks from both our social friends and school, it is clear that many students miss the times where they could freely interact and socialise with their friends in an open area, without the worries of the virus spreading. Now, many are forced to either social distance or result to video calls which fails to capture the experience of a face-to-face interaction. And that's how we thought VR would be perfect for it. As students who have gone through years of education, we have experience on how lessons may tend to be boring and draggy sometimes due to the repetitiveness of it. As such, we wanted to stimulate a real-life classroom where teachers can not only teach students, but also able to use virtual technologies to their advantages, enticing students to learn more effectively, while keeping students safe from the virus.
What it does
Our solution, CoReality, allows schools, universities or institutions to easily create a unified user interface for students and teachers to interact across different courses. Furthermore, with Virtual Reality (VR) technology, we were able to create a visual workspace such as a classroom or meeting room using 360° cameras to record the area and streamed through the Internet. This creates a unique and immersive experience for students and teachers to converse and learn online all while at the comforts of their home—safe from the virus.
How we built it
Driven by our passion for Virtual Reality technologies, we decided to step out of our comfort zone and translate our concept into a reality by utilising WebVR and A-Frame to create a 3D VR scene. However thankfully, we are quite well-skilled in web development and was able to built it sufficient with frameworks we have worked before such as NodeJS and React, however, MeteorJS was still quite new to us so it was a enriching experience to learn more about it too.
Challenges we ran into
We faced a lot of authentication bugs, and many glitches throughout implementation.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Having little knowledge and experience in making a VR project, we were able to develop a nice looking UI, managed to get Speech to Text function and VR set up
What we learned
We learnt a lot about VR technologies—not just how to code them but they're many use cases which we found really interesting as we went forward with the project. And this of course got us eager to explore more uses of VR and AI Technologies in the future. Furthermore, as we were building the project, we came to value the importance of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI). By researching, we realised that the underlying problems while may look simple on the surface, is actually rather complicated. Many schools and teachers across the world have been severely impacted by the pandemic each in their own unique way, and helping all of them is of course impossible. However, thanks to discovery, our team knew and applied what we gathered to create a solution that is student and teacher-oriented.
What's next for CoReality
We wish to further expand this to include virtual hosts and chatbot and truly create a wonderous experience for students and teachers alike. Ensuring that students are able to learn effectively from home is utterly important, and we are very eager to utilise more technologies especially from the cloud to make this classroom learning a reality.
Lastly, we would also like to thank NUS Computing and NUS Computing Club, CSIT, Micron and any other sponsors of LifeHack 2021 for truly giving us an immersive and enriching experience. We greatly look forward to participating in future workshops or hackathons organised!