Have you ever had to teach someone something just a bit abstract? If you have, you know that the key to understanding some of the most complex ideas the human mind has ever came up with, is visualisation.
We can hear it a lot. Visualising the stock market, the blockchain, even our social networks. It can give us all sorts of intuitive insights and some of those satisfying "click!" moments when a complex puzzle finally sets in our mind. So, without further ado, that is where our T.I.M. (or Timmy, Timbo, etc.) comes into play!
What it does
T.I.M. enables you, a teacher, a friend or anyone show others what's really going on in your head and lets you show your ideas in a whole new world, the virtual one, and does so very intuitively.
- First, you strap on your VR headset, be it an expensive and exotic HTC Vive, or a cheap 5 buck Cardboard (which is still cool by the way).
- After entering the new virtual frontier, you'll find yourself standing in a cozy living room, from which your journey begins.
- Using voice commands, you can ask our radiant artificially-intelligent Alexa to do a lot of stuff for you, from teleporting you to space, to taking you to a classroom.
- But that's not all! If you call now... But seriously, that's not even the best thing yet. You can use your hands, yes, your very own hands in a virtual world to interact with the stuff around you in an intuitive way. From pinching and pointing, giving thumbs up and throwing around stuff, it's the next best way to do some good ol' human-computer interaction!
How we built it
We built it using Unity with a little of C# knowledge and a lot of effort. We separated our tasks and defined the goals for our MVP that we'd like to present during the demo show here at MLH Prime. With a little slacking off, we still made awesome stuff!
Challenges we ran into
A lot of them! We've never, and I mean never worked with AI, VR, or any of the stuff written about above. There was a lot of headbanging, standard teammate fighting and scratching and a lot of hard sweat and work. From not being able to use Oculus from having to hack the Leap motion in order for it to be able to send data to the Gear VR, we did a lot of interesting stuff!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We worked 'till the very last minute, and we gave our best. We hope that this idea truly helps someone out someday, and we had a blast. In the end, that's all that matters for us. We definitely learned a ton of stuff, met awesome people here and challenged ourselves not to step out of our comfort zone, but to permanently vacate it. And we're not looking for a ticket back!
What we learned
We learned VR and hardware can be very satisfying to work with, seeing the results immediately and being able to actually interact with it on a physical level, but it can be as much a pain with it's random shenanigans.
What's next for T.I.M.
We will definitely pick this up when we get home, and our primary goal is to make it as accessible as possible and as immersive and intuitive aswell.