During our high school days, we came across anxiety disorders which include fears related to public speaking and speaking to a crowd. So, while looking for a social good topic for the hackathon, we researched a bit about Glossophobia. Turns out that more than 75% of the total population on earth suffers from it or some variation of this disorder. Seemed like a great hack for social good.
What it does
Puts you in a virtual environment and makes you speak to an active virtual audience that reacts to your speech. This helps boost your confidence and helps you overcome fears by practising.
How we built it
We built it in Unity3D version 2017.3.1f1 and C#. All of the assets like 3d models and audio clips are under public license and free to use in non-commercial projects.
Challenges we ran into
The audience has to be reactive to the speech. That was the most challenging part. Also, integrating the virtual assistant Sarah into the project turned out to be more work than we had estimated.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have a project that was built in less than 34 hours and which can be used in complete fashion to help people with Glossophobia. We have tried our best to bring a social good topic into this hackathon and we believe we successfully lived up to our expectations. Apart from the VR experience, we also created a supplementing website using Wix and Wix Code.
What we learned
Hacking is so much fun. We learned a great deal about user interaction and involvement in order to make a virtual experience immersive. Team building and project management skills. Having fun while hacking. We also learned that Unity does not have bindings for Google's speech to text API.
What's next for Speak Free
Custom speech practice mode along with custom audiences and settings. You can literally put the virtual user and the audience in any setting and help out people having problems with public speaking. We also had a stretch goal for implementing some pseudo machine learning to do speech analysis so that we can offer better insights to the user.