Replacing the traditional Bloomberg terminals with an open source version with unlimited screen real estate in VR. BloomBig was the original project name idea. However this was shortened to Simblu as we realized Bloomberg has started a prototype for their own VR workstation. The new project was aimed at simplifying the interface using potentially any website embed inside virtual screens. This would allow projects that can emulate the functionality of Bloomberg terminals in VR.
What it does
Simblu is the desktop of the future, it takes inspiration from other VR desktop ideas and attempts to build on their functionality. We imagine a future where web applications power an entire new wave of innovation in virtual reality. Each web page easily imported in a 2D plane in a 3D virtual space as programs with endless functionality.
How we built it
We used C# with Unity to build a virtual environment that allows users to demo a basic web application, hosted on Google Cloud Platform, that's using the EVEN API to display loans. This is a basic proof of concept application that demonstrates how web services can be used in VR workstations to provide a specialized service. With the back end infrastructure, we developed using a python and modified game engine code, we were able to have embed many interactive web services in a virtual reality environment. Matching Bloomberg's demo project functionality with the simulated Bloomberg terminal web interface.
Challenges we ran into
We were not able to have an input device for the VR, so we could not find a way to interact with the environment. We did not have the controllers that were required for proper input. The mouse does not work in unity as an input.
POST request using the EVEN API, we had issues interpreting the documentation for their services. Also, EVEN API only provided the loan offers with the given access token, that restricted our ability to come up with other ideas for other types of financial data.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Getting the embed web services to work in Unity game engine on a VR headset. Being able to figure out the longest possible domain name. After figuring out the embed services in Unity, it took a lot of time to set up EVEN api
What we learned
How to make the longest possible domain name. How to build VR game applications and expand on the functionality of Unity using different web services, plugins and APIs.
What's next for Simblu
We’re planning a series A funding round on the 1st of December 2019. (JK, maybe) With the funding received we will expanding support for our interface devices. Mixed reality to the new Index. We will expand available integrations for the Simblu virtual desktop.
Our URL was too long to put in the "Try it out link"