Working towards the creation of a VR Storytelling framework, we created a "barebone" VR application for presenting narratives based on 360o photographs.
The application works as a "VR-Viewmaster", in a similar way we used to play with viewmaster devices in 70s and 80s. The application displays a 360o scene, in which the user is able to look around freely, as if he or she was actually in the place where the 360o picture was photographed. Augmenting this experience with sounds and narrations creates a realistic but also very impressive experience.
The application is "barebone" meaning that it is not bounded to specific content. It displays the content stored in a specific directory of the internal memory of the device. This gives to members of the Waterline project the ability to import their own matterial and making use of the application for their own purposes.
The framework has been developed as an apk application, compatible with the Pico 2G 4K Vr headset. The Pick G2 4k device was choosen as it is a relative low cost device that has the resolution and the processing power to provide very satisfing user experience. Also it is a developer friendly device, allowing the creation of software without any restrictions from the hardware provider - as for example Oculus does for their own devices.
As the application is targeting users with no experience in using a VR Headset, the user interface has been kept minimal. Like and old-time viewmaster, the user interacts with the application by a single button at the right side of the device. That button is used to move forward to the next panoramic scene. As we are planning to use this application to events and exhibitions, the application is developed to work as a stand-alone application at a kiosk mode. The user has no ability exit the application and to access the user interface of the device, messing the experience for the next user.
We have tested the application in two different target groups: school children and stakeholders. Both target groups were exited by the experience provided and expressed their thoughts with very encouraging words.
Click here to download the apk file of the application for a Pico VR Glasses headset
Click here to download the apk file of the application for an Android smartphone
Click here to download the apk file of the application for a CAVE triple projection system