Inspiration

In Chinese, 记得 (jìdé) means to remember. Thus, we imply remembering life itself.

Losing memory isn't fun for anyone. In the United States, Alzheimer's disease is very common. Statistics show that there are more than 3 million cases per year, and we still have no idea how to cure this disease. However, research shows that exposing patients to photos from the past and famous songs of their age can spark their memory. We are trying to employ virtual reality technology to help people suffering memory loss retrieve back their memory.

What it does

Jide.life is an Oculus Rift VR showcase app for people to immerse in their past memories and to help users improve their personal recollection of the past. jide.life retrieves data from the user's Facebook and Spotify and from past news data to form a collection of a user's memory. When the app runs, it displays the user's photo in the front, plays the user's favorite music of his/her youth on the left, and shows some pieces of past news headlines on the right. Users can click on each of them to switch the content. Sitting inside such an environment, the user will experience a flashback of memory and will be able to recall things from their distant memories.

How we built it

We employed the brand new WebVR framework as the platform of our app and used three.js for awesome 3D modeling. By using mobile technology, we can easily make our app compatible with VR devices including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, etc. Concerning API calls, we did not employ a server for the app, and, rather, made all the API calls run on the client side with Ajax. This practice minimized the cost of the application and gave users more flexibilities.

Challenges we ran into

Neither of us had prior experience with VR programming or 3D modeling in Javascript, so the project was wholly new to us. We needed to learn things in a very short time and use them to design the product. For example, since the application of WebVR for the Oculus Rift is a very new idea in the VR market, we couldn't find very many tutorials or examples on the internet. We thus had mild difficulty linking the Oculus Rift to WebVR and the web browser. We solved this issue after much trial and error. Additionally, since we didn't have a pair of specially designed controllers for Oculus Rift, we couldn't find any great ways to interact with the VR device. Thus, we came up with the idea to use looking at objects and clicking a wireless mouse as a substitute for a controller.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We successfully made a well-developed app within a short time with a large range of applications and influence. The emotional and social benefits of the app are beyond people's imagination.

What we learned

We learned how to use three.js and WebVR to make really fantastic 3D models and to entertain the populous.

What's next for Jide Life

We firmly believe that this project is a stepping stone into greater media interaction between the elderly and the current generation. By incorporating elements older folks favor into modern applications, we can accomplish two goals with one achievement. We plan to continue building this project and seeing where it leads!

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