Have you looked inside your computer? It's not a black box, there is a network of modular component all connected together, each with a specific role. Let's get connected and share knowledge of computer components through an immersive educational retail VR experience. Interested in building a computer? We use virtual reality to show players how to assemble components together to build a custom computer. Trouble finding the right components for you custom system online? We integrate with online retailers through slice, and provide text-to-speech through IBM bluemix to give players an immersive user experience.
What it does
The player is set in a virtual environment through the Oculus Rift VR headset in a modern apartment loft with a motherboard, graphics cards, RAM, CPU, heat sink, hard drive, and power supply in from of them. Players are able to select components using head tracking from the Oculus Rift headset and pull information for the components through integrated APIs. Text-to-speech is utilized through IBM bluemix to read component information to users when they select them. Players are able to select and relocate components into correct positions in the motherboard and are given a confirmation when they are placed correctly by locking them into place in the motherboard.
How we built it
We built this experience using Unreal Engine 4.9, C++, IBM bluemix API, and Slice API
Challenges we ran into
We had trouble integrating external APIs into our Unreal Engine environment we created. There were also issues with user input devices, we had initially tried using a leap motion controller to allow players to grab components with virtual hands, however the leap motion software API does not support this feature and infrared tracking on the device is substandard for practical application. We settled for mouse and keyboard input controls.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Beautifully rendered hardware components and environment. Text-to-speech integration Intuitive user experience design
What we learned
bluemix API integration Enhanced skills with C++, Unreal Engine, blueprint, and 3D modeling.
What's next for System Builder VR
We plan on finishing out the goals that we had set out at the start of the product development, and will be releasing our experience for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift devices that are launching to consumers toward the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. Our work was done in conjunction with the Virtual Reality club @ UCSD and a small Southern California Nanotech startup NanoVR. We would like to integrate our user experience with NanoVR to help them consult with their customers interested in building custom VR facilities. Education is our top priority and we hope many players will learn how to build their own custom PC through System Builder VR. Full integration with online retailers for a seamless user retail experience, and component compatibility checks are next on the list.