Seattle VR Hackathon
I attended the 5th Seattle VR Hackathon with my friends. This was my first hackathon and first Unity VR development experience. The hackathon was 40 hours long (3 days).
Sky Collection provides an immersive shopping experience through showcasing items in a luxury virtual shop. Flyers are able to slide through items, pick and zoom in for 360 view of an item, and place items in a shopping basket for the payment. The darkroom and spotlight effect creates an exclusive mood and allows users to concentrate on each item to gain full experience and information which leads to a more confident buying decision.
Sky Collection is built on Unity for Google VR Daydream. We have strategically utilized gvr controller API for a seamless user experience. Items are currently uploaded as DAE files from publicly available resources. For future improvements, Sky Collection can be integrated with leading e-commerce platforms to present dynamic shopping experience even at the 30,000 ft in the sky.
We decided to enter the Microsoft + Boeing jointly sponsored topic in the hackathon: Build a AR/VR application for inflight experience.
After brainstorming session, we came to a conclusion that the inflight hours are usually characterized by the following: long sedentary posture, limited head and arm movement, limited space for wires and storage. Mobile VR are untethered, cost-effective, light-weight, and limited in its controls, which we realized were good fit.
Currently magazines and cabin carts used to present the duty-free products. Magazines are poor 2D representation of the product, and the frequent carts operations slow the logistics of flight services. To best fit the need of a passenger, we decided to create an inflight duty-free shopping experience through mobile VR application.
As the interaction designer of the team, I used Rhino to create 3D wireframe/placeholders and built basic environment of our application, which was built in Unity. I supported minor Unity scripting and gvr controller inputs. I also drew main page flow diagram of our minimum viable product. My previous encounter on VR wireframing with Framer gave me a good starting point.
Below are the refined version of my VR wireframe and storyboard for SkyCollection
This video was recorded in the middle of the hackathon, to test the coupling of gyro sensor, hover state of controller pointer, and horizontal scroll. This prototype was missing the implementation of the basket.
RESULT & REFLECTION
Our judges from Microsoft and Boeing found our prototype and idea to be highly plausible. We received comments that this application addressed a well-known problem and used mobile VR appropriately to solve the problem, even from business perspective.
Although we did not win the sponsored prize, overall I was pleased with the hackathon. THe hackathon was a challenging and insightful which helped me to learn about collaboration process of Unity VR development, and storyboarding for VR application.