We got together a team passionate about social impact, and all the ideas we had kept going back to loneliness and isolation. Specifically, we all had personal connections to depression and self-imposed isolation. We looked at our skillsets, shared some personal stories about imaginary friends and distant siblings, and then the idea of Remy was born. How can we create an AR buddy to be there for you?
What it does
Remy is an app that contains an AR buddy who serves as a mental health companion. Through information accessed from "Apple Health" and "Google Calendar," Remy is able to help you stay on top of your schedule. He gives you suggestions on when to eat, when to sleep, and personally recommends articles on mental health hygiene. All this data is aggregated into a report that can then be sent to medical professionals. Personally, our favorite feature is his suggestions on when to go on walks and your ability to meet other Remy owners.
How we built it
We built an iOS application in Swift with ARKit and SceneKit with Apple Health data integration. Our 3D models were created from Mixima.
Challenges we ran into
We did not want Remy to promote codependency in its users, so we specifically set time aside to think about how we could specifically create a feature that focused on socialization.
We've never worked with AR before, so this was an entirely new set of skills to learn. His biggest challenge was learning how to position AR models in a given scene.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have a functioning app of an AR buddy that we have grown heavily attached to. We feel that we have created a virtual avatar that many people really can fall for.
What we learned
Aside from this being many of the team's first times work on AR, the main learning point was about all the data that we gathered on the suicide epidemic for adolescents. Suicide rates have increased by 56% in the last 10 years, and this will only continue to get worse. We need change.
What's next for Remy
While our team has set out for Remy to be used in a college setting, we envision many other relevant use cases where Remy will be able to better support one's mental health wellness.
Remy can be used as a tool by therapists to get better insights on sleep patterns and outdoor activity done by their clients, and this data can be used to further improve the client's recovery process. Clients who use Remy can send their activity logs to their therapists before sessions with a simple click of a button.
To top it off, we envisage the Remy application being a resource hub for users to improve their overall wellness. Through providing valuable sleep hygiene tips and even lifestyle advice, Remy will be the one-stop, holistic companion for users experiencing mental health difficulties to turn to as they take their steps towards recovery.