I’ve jumped back in virtual reality and I’m currently working on PowerNap for VR. I’m migrating, and re-imagining, my old PowerNap app for iOS. This is my way of really getting my feet wet, again. I know all of the VR theory, but programming in Unity is very different than working in SGI’s Performer, and there is no substitute for jumping in and just trying to make things work.
I already know the things I would change in the system architecture, mainly around how I would enable loading multiple scenes. And there is a certain zen between getting everything into C# code, which is easier to inspect vs. building for the Unity editor, which is easier to fiddle with. That being said, I’m finding my recent web development and mobile development experience unexpectedly relevant in building this app.
Chirping bird sounds and the procedural sun made for a particularly nice way of waking up from a nap. The brightening screen is a great way to wake up. I’m curious as to which other affordances of VR could enhance old functionality. While dwelling on alarms, I could imaging using eye tracking inform when to wake up the sleeper. For calendar and mail notifications, I could imaging tapping into a watch-based heart rate monitor, combined eye tracking to detect when a user is in-the-flow and avoid interrupting with notifications that can be delayed.
I’m targeting the Oculus Go, whose portability makes it feasible to use at an airport, conference, or just a couch. I find the cloth edges of the Oculus Go pretty comfortable to keep on while sleeping. I’ll update this once it is live in the store (or rejected!).