Link to a demo video of the prototype, recorded through a Unity laptop interface: https://vimeo.com/336475765 Viewpoint is a Virtual Reality (VR) app that aims to reduce anxiety by changing perspectives. We often tend to get caught up in our problems, making them seem bigger and more daunting than they really are. Viewpoint enables the user to zoom out and appreciate the big picture, or zoom into the beauty of nature to appreciate the life all around us. This would help the user view the anxiety-producing issue in a different context that reduces associated stress levels. Through Viewpoint, users can immerse themselves in high-quality audiovisual experiences, each of which is curated to match awe-inspiring visuals with soothing music. The visuals span multiple length scales, providing the user with different themes to choose from. For the final project, we learned how to use certain aspects of Unity, a popular game development platform, in order to build an early-stage prototype. Most of our efforts were focused on the outer space themes – green nebula, purple nebula and red nebula. These themes are named for the space backgrounds within them. In each of these themes, we created an infinite field of stars against the nebula background, along with a flythrough camera that represents the user’s perspective. Stars are generated symmetrically around the camera position. The user can choose to stay still, creating the impression that they are floating in outer space; they can also use simple controls to move forward, backward, right or left, creating a surreal sense of motion as the stars fly by, changing size in proportion to their distance from the camera position. We also included two other nature-focused themes using open-source footage, in order to provide a more holistic sense of the future capabilities of the app. We would like to acknowledge the free online tutorials at www.blenderfreak.com that we used to become familiar with the relevant tools in Unity.
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