I am a fan of VR/AR technology and has been working on Unity3D projects for both Senior Design project back in college as well as in my current work. I am really excited to hear about the AWS Sumerian Hackathon and was really excited to try out the new VR/AR development tool.

I participated in a separate hackathon co-hosted by Department of State and AWS couple months ago, and got the project idea from there: It will be super cool if I migrate a visualization tool to another platform. It can possibly be expanded and modified as an exhibit when the US Diplomacy museum opens!

What it does

DataAmbassador-VR-Edition is a visualization tool intended to showcase visitors how US Diplomacy has affect the world. Visitors are compelled to explore the globe to learn about hot international issues. User can move around world and click on video. A digital ambassador, Luke, will showcase the international issues in the region. Topics include most important issues of today, including refugees, terrorism, nuclear disarmament.

How I built it

Followed tons of tutorials from AWS, including scripting basics, video streaming, building state machines for chat bot, etc. Also checked out the Sumerian API and Github sample code quite frequently.

Challenges I ran into

Sumerian is a pretty new service and there isn't really enough resource to help troubleshooting. Some behaviors are very different from Unity3D.

There are also issues that I am not sure if it is a bug by AWS.

  • When I changed a Cognito Identity Pool ID, it didn't get updated until I close and restart my browser.
  • When I copied "sphere A" entity and renamed it "sphere B", the state machine will still treat "sphere B" as "sphere A".

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Learned new AWS services (Lex and Sumerian).

What I learned

Sumerian, Cognito, Lex, Chatbot, HTML3D

What's next for DataAmbassador-VR-Edition

Perhaps build it on a VR headset.

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