The intent of this app is to allow the reading of eBooks as if you were reading a real book. Will feature simple controls to facilitate the selection and navigation of books. A bookshelf will display all suitable files as books, allowing for a simple and intuitive browsing and selection system.

An atmospheric environment will seek to aid in the comfort of the VR Reader, with the long-term possibility of different reading environments. I elected to focus on one highly polished environment to start with, instead of multiple lower-quality ones.

Simply drag EPUB files into your phone's "VR Reader" folder (created when app is first run), and they will appear inside the app on launch.

Features:

  • Support for text-based EPUB files
  • Simple and intuitive book selection
  • Gaze-based and tap-based page navigation
  • Relaxing environment
  • Separate bookmarks for each book
  • Chair and Bed modes for your preferred reading position
  • Ability to speedily flip through pages

THE IMPORTANT STUFF

Mechanics

The two major mechanics are book selection and book reading.

Book selection

  • Books drawn from the "VR Reader" folder on the device
  • Virtual bookshelf is populated with all valid books.

Book Reading

  • Two different positions -> seated and laying down
  • Page navigation
  • Bookmarking
  • Moving book in/out

VR Innovation

Immersion and comfort were the two drivers for this app.

  • A book skeuomorphism is provided to capture the experience of reading a real book, and a comfortable environment is presented to enhance the reading experience.
  • Book selection takes place on a physical bookshelf, giving a simple and immersive method of browsing, without requiring a file browser or prompts.
  • Transitions between locations are done with a fade out/in mechanic instead of actual movement, preventing potential simulator sickness.
  • Gaze-based mechanics for page navigation supported. Buttons positioned such that the user's gaze is naturally drawn to them when starting or finishing a page.

Controls

All controls are either gaze or trackpad based.

Book selection

  • Upon launch, you will be placed in front of a bookcase. Simply look at a book and tap the trackpad to load the selected book.
  • When looking at a book, its title will be displayed.

Reading Controls

  • Look at a page and tap to move forward or backwards throughout the book.
  • Arrows on either side of the book facilitate gaze-based page turning. Look at the arrow until it fades out and the page turns
  • Tap the bottom bookmark to save your page position
  • Tap the top bookmark to load your saved page position
  • Swipe forward/backward to move the book closer/further away
  • Swipe up/down to speedily flip through pages.
  • Look at bookcase and tap to return to book selection
  • When sitting, look at the roof and tap to change to bed mode
  • When laying down, look at the chair and tap to change to sitting mode
  • Look at the door and tap to quit the application

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