For the VR prototyping, we mainly used the Unity as the tool to develop our VR experience, and we want to make the interaction intuitive and seamless. Therefore we decided to use Leap Motion as the input system, which can provide a very natural gesture interface for our VR interactions, and the gesture interface simulates the real world affordances, such as picking up the photos, grabing the torch and placing the photos inside the lantern. In order to make it more user friendly to novice user, we also provide some visual cues when users' hand gets closer to the interactive objects. In addition, a few sound effects are also used to enhance the experience, and make it reactive and responsive.
In order to connect the VR experience to the physical device (particle), we used the Unity Web Request function to send a form to the unique particle device with a special access token, then use the Particle.function to listen to this request. As such, when the lantern is lighted up by the fire, the LEDs on the physical device will simultaneously light up. When this connection happens, it can also let the other people outside the VR headset know that someone releases a new memory into the world.
We choose to use a beautiful night skybox to give users a sense of calm, silence, and safety, because we believe these elements are essential when users want to confront with their personal memories and emotional. Some ambient sound of night is also added to amplify the feelings, and many existing floating lanterns in the sky make users feel they are not alone, so that we get the sense of being supported and can be more brave to let go of their painful memories.
The final project is exported as an executable file (.exe) which can run on Windows system. In order to run this program, a windows system that is compatible with Oculus Rift and Leap Motion is required, and with all the required devices, and software, the program should run properly. The project executable file can be found here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JH0ZFeg42iLAoAVfZLxKQFtomgeII-IQ?usp=sharing
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