Inspiration

Public speaking continuously proves to be one of the most important skills, both in education and in industry. As college and high school students, we often deal with presentation anxiety and we realized that a program like Virtual Talk could help us rehearse our speaking skills. From running for a leadership position to giving a big presentation about a new product at work, we wanted to make sure Virtual Talk could account for different situations to help as many people as possible.

What it does

Virtual Talk is an interactive VR experience in which you can practice your presentation skills to an audience of your choice. Equipped with two realistic room settings, a variety of audience members, and eye and hand tracking technology, Virtual Talk can both simulate your experience and visually prompt you to use engaging hand gestures or look around while speaking.

How we built it

We used Unity and some CAD software to create and program Virtual Talk. In order to learn how to use these technologies, we watched and read many tutorials. Our furniture and character models are from the Unity Asset Store, and a couple of pieces were created with CAD.

Challenges we ran into

While sharing our files, we ran into problems with GitHub such as having files exceeding their 100 MB limit. Furthermore, we all had to learn how to use Unity, which required watching many tutorials and reading documentation.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Considering our limited background in VR, we are proud that we made a working product. VR technology can have many applications, so it was important to us that we made something that could help people of all ages, and that it related to education and skills required for the workforce. We’re also proud that we outlined the program and delegated certain tasks to group members to make the most of our time.

What we learned

All of us are relatively new to programming in Unity and VR technology, so we not only learned how to use the game developing software, but we also learned how to complete a programming project in a team and use GitHub for easy file sharing. We used the Unity Asset Store to pull props such as character models and furniture to make our rooms look realistic. To create the more complex theater scene, we utilized CAD software (OnShape) to model the terraced arrangement of the seats. But over the last two days, we learned the _ most important _ lesson of all -- how to sleep comfortably on chairs.

What's next for Virtual Talk

With more time, we would add more rooms so that there is a setting for every occasion. We would also implement full-body tracking to add to the hand and eye movement trackers. This way, the program can remind speakers to practice their walking patterns to better accentuate their points.

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