Current augmented reality devices have very limited fields of view. We wondered what would happen if you combined virtual and augmented reality—what would happen if you broke through the fourth wall?
What it does
Our application is a mixed reality e-commerce platform for the Oculus Rift. It allows users to shop for things like furniture from the comfort of their own homes in a more immersive way than augmented or virtual reality alone can provide.
How we built it
We attached a Go Pro camera with a 3D printed mount to the front of an Oculus Rift in order to pass video feed through. The Unreal Engine application displays video feed to the user and allows them to place virtual objects into their space. With the Oculus touch controllers, the user can manipulate the objects. Our backend consists of a SQL database and a couple of payment APIs (Coinbase and Square) to purchase the actual furniture within the mixed reality application straight from the Oculus.
Challenges we ran into
We initially tried to use QR codes to place furniture objects. However, that proved to be a pretty big challenge that we needed to find a quick way to get around. Instead, we ended up just placing the objects a certain distance away from the user, knowing it should stay in place based on the Oculus' tracking technology.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We took on this project knowing that it was going to be very challenging. The database and APIs we used were completely new to us and we spent a significant amount of time just trying to figure out how they worked. We're proud of how, many times throughout the hackathon, we didn't give up when our original approach to various problems failed, but instead we quickly came up with simpler solutions to save time.
What we learned
While hackathons serve as good environments for learning new technologies, with their countless workshops and mentorship help at the tips of our fingers, they also limit our projects with time constraints. Sometimes you have to simplify your project to finish in time, so learning how to prioritize tasks is important.
What's next for FourthWall
In the future, we hope to implement better SLAM architecture and utilize computer vision.