What is it like to experience colorblind? As far as I know, lots of people wonder what the world of color blind people looks like. In every 10000 people, there are 100 male and 1 female suffering protanope, a type of color blind that is less sensitive to red light. To investigate more on our curiosity of this, we aimed to create a unique experience--to see the world from a colorblind person’s eyes. Most people cannot fully understand colorblind people's experience. However, with our simulator, one can have a very live experience of the colorblind world and understand colorblind people better. For educational purposes, our simulator lets normal people have an opportunity to experience color blindness--understand how it affects vision and also helps professionals build better applications and designs for this specific population in the future.
What it does
In our simulator, you get to experience a change of color in the world--one would start with normal color vision, and then he/she can transition into the perspective of colorblind people through the capsule button. The player gets to experience the game in the forests because it is a natural setting, where there are a variety of different colors.
How I built it
We first went to the unity workshop to learn some of the basic material for this app. Then we started by building the world using the imported assets. We built our world with forest assets. For the next step, we decided to add some user interactions. Therefore, we did not make the entire world just like the colorblind people’s perspective from the beginning--instead, we created two capsule buttons--one to change to the color blind effects, another one to change the vision back to normal. Lastly, to make our game more visually attractive and interesting, we added some lighting effects as well as particle interactions. Overall, we try to be creative and use as much VR affects as possible despite our technology deficiency.
Challenges I ran into
This is the first time we use Unity and utilize the C# programming language. We are not familiar with the function that was built in the application, so it takes us a long time to learn everything from scratch. When we try to add the paintbrush effect we got stuck. We cannot figure out how to make the brush effect, so after some failed attempts we changed to drawing using cubes. We also got stuck on the color palette. To solve the problem, we ended up paired each color with one button of our controller. The user can switch colors by pressing different buttons when they are drawing.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
As a beginner in creating virtual reality, we are really proud of our project. We are making progress of utilizing the facilities and the tools we have, and successfully making our vision simulator comes true. It could greatly give normal people to experience and further understand the world that color-blind people will see.
What I learned
During these 36 hours hackathon process, not only did we step out of our comfort zone, try our best to learn and create a virtual reality project, we also get to know more about the virtual reality world and think about the application of it in our daily life.
What's next for Vision Simulator
The next step for vision simulator would definitely aim to go beyond just experiencing colorblind vision in the forest--we want to have more visual experience of people with other possible effects as well as implementing more scenarios to show what are some different effects these different visions have on our daily experience. For example, we would want to implement a traffic road scenario to let ordinary people understand how color blind people interact and see traffic signals. We believe this project has a great social potential in the future.