Inspiration

It is often too expensive for most people to tour the world. We wanted to expand the opportunity for people to travel, at their convenience, and at a low cost, by providing a platform for touring the world's greatest museums and cities while getting the perspective of a knowledgable local and tour guide. This helps to simulate the full experience by providing a deeper level of cultural understanding.

What it does

TourIt connects people from across the world, in an immersive virtual experience powered by Oculus Rift, Unity, Microsoft Azure and SQL Server. A tourist logs in and requests a tour in some city or landmark, and is answered by a local, who will present the local culture, geography, architecture, history and people. The curious tourist will travel a virtual path travelled set up by the hosting guide, all the while having 360 degrees of visible freedom.

How we built it

One developer created the front end UI with bootstrap, HTML5, CSS, Javascript. Another developer completed the back end web services and database with Microsoft Azure and SQL Server. The final two developed the virtual reality model with Unity 5.3 for the Oculus Rift DK2.

Challenges we ran into

Containerizing our app so that it would be easy to manage, but we had challenges with configuring docker for our app. We had several iterations of our front end and back end, as well as several attempts of creating the virtual tour experience in order to reach the current stage of which we are glad to present.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Empowering people with the freedom to travel without being bound by time or money. We love that the one on one interaction between a tourist and a local is a bond that sparks empathy, mutual understanding, and friendship, albeit a near to history between the two users of our product.

What we learned

We leaned more about using Unity and the Oculus--specifically how to implement Google's street-view API. We learned how to use Flask and connect it to Microsoft's Azure Web Services.

What's next for TourIt

TourIt is going to completely revolutionize travel. In the future, we look forward to increasing the number of users on both the local and tourist sides. Also, we we hope to expand the quality and detail of the destinations and perhaps, one day, achieve real-time capabilities to completely emulate the full travel experience.

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