COVID-19 has been a challenging time for schools, offices, groupmates, and hackathons alike! In 2020, we have learned to adjust to a new standard of work and social living, and even something called “Zoom Fatigue”.
Zoom fatigue has made it very difficult to attend networking sessions, socials, panels, and other events in which they would be able to pick up on crucial skills, expand their perspective, and continue to develop themselves as individuals. We wanted to empower individuals and grant them the comfortable familiarity of attending e-events in a face-to-face design.
Presently Google Meets, Zoom, and other video conferencing applications offer the same interface for panels and webinars as they do meetings: a n * m panel of the panelists. However, zoom fatigue has played a huge, demotivating factor against attending non-mandatory events.
What it does
A conferencing platform plug-in tool that allows a user to login and join a meeting as they normally would, and then activate the plug-in in order to grant themselves access to the event venue in VR-space.
How I built it
Using Unity, C#, and a Google cardboard, we were able to develop an office-like environment in which users are “seated” in a room alongside the projections of up-to 7 panelists or speakers. This project is hosted live on itch.io.
Challenges I ran into
First time using unity. Need I say more? :S
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I'm proud of having stuck through this hackathon. As per the theme of this submission, online deadlines and events feel "fake", and it is often difficult to self motivate to stay on-track, so I am proud to have completed and submitted this project.
What I learned
This was my first time working with Unity, with VR, and uploading a project to itch.io! I also learned a little bit of C# along the way!
What's next for Zoom Room
- Implement this plug-in onto an open-source video conferencing tool, or a video conferencing tool with an available API for use,
*Implement this feature for regular meetings:
- track the user’s head movements and map them onto an avatar that will be streamed as a placeholder for their own camera,
- implement microphone mute & unmute camera functionality upon clicking the Google cardboard magnetic button,