We wanted to create a new world for social media users. VR is something completely new and we had never used it; we figured it was the perfect frontier to handle multiple social media feeds.
What it does
It pulls feeds from social media (currently only Instagram, but easily expandable) and uses MongoDB to store them until we pull it to display in stunning VR. The user is able to browse their feed within the app.
How we built it
We used a Samsung Gear VR with a Galaxy S6 Edge and Unity to power the app. Since we were using Unity, it was all written in C#. We also created a separate server application that will communicate with the Instagram API at the request of a user and then upload information to a MongoDB database for use in the app.
Challenges we ran into
Getting everything to work with Unity was by far the biggest challenge we ran into. About 3/4th of the way through development, we realized that what we wanted to do simply wasn't possible with Unity due to its outdated .NET framework. Unreal Engine was the perfect solution to our problems, but due to time constraints we couldn't migrate over everything we had already done. Because of this, we were forced to develop clever but nonideal work-arounds to get everything to work.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Before this hackathon, none of our team members had any experience with VR, and we had very little experience with Unity and C#. We managed to overcome these shortcomings in the end and in the process learned a ton about VR software, Unity, and C#.
What we learned
How to use Unity, how to use C#, how to use MongoDB, how to troubleshoot VR software, and to look into the capabilities of a game engine before diving right in.
What's next for NebuchadnezzarVR
We plan to migrate to Unreal Engine as soon as possible, and to finish implementing the ability to travel to the location pictured in social media posts. We hope to create a better UI, integrate other social media feeds, and improve our user input, potentially with voice commands.