An artist hard at work
It was love at first inkdrop when we saw the Logitech VR ink... Being fairly free spirits and interacting oftentimes with the more bohemian parts of society, we almost instantly thought of combining art and science in an effervescent effusion of features, in order to design the art studio of the future: XRStudio!
What it does
It augments decades or sometimes centuries-old artistic processes such as paper moodboards or collection of inspirational texts with a VR workspace, offering a plethora of useful features, such as voice commands and 3D painting. We also offer - this is, in fact, a central part of our product suite - a companion app for iOS, called XRInspire. This app allows creatives to harness the inspiration all around them, on their way to work, in museums, surfing the web, by creating a centralised and cloud-hosted repository of heterogeneous sources and artifacts of inspiration. In a nutshell, an IDE for artists!
How we built it
We used Logitech's hardware VR ink setup along with their SDK for it. We used a wide range of technologies for our back-end and mobile app. The challenges were diverse, and thus a comprehensive listing would be very time-consuming, but among our favorite technologies to use in this endeavor were Swift, Unity, C# and Azure TTS (Voice Services). Big up to Firebase, without which we never would have been able to offer the same level of service and which has become a staple of our setups.
Challenges we ran into
Voice recognition was no easy task, especially with regards to the vocabulary/precision trade-off. Creating reliable communication links between our mobile companion app, our back-end, and our Unity environment was especially hard, due to the heterogeneity involved. Overall, however, time was our biggest enemy, although we did our best to offer an interesting and fun set of features!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
An intuitive and responsive creative flow along with a varied and well-integrated ecosystem. Last but not least, we learned a huge amount of stuff, truly mind-boggling! We also hit some rough patches as a team and almost lost hope halfway through, but persisted and got through it, once again as a team!
What we learned
How to quickly reuse existing technologies, how to do reliable and effective integration. How to creatively use new and relatively untested hardware for novel purposes.
What's next for XRStudio
We may tentatively pursue the idea as a commercial enterprise if corresponding hardware is available.