Evelyn Eastmond

2016 – Ongoing

Background

This is a project that explores natural hand gestures and their social use across distances in virtual reality.  We are beginning with the ability to interact with 3D models by detecting collision with a user’s tracked hands (using the Leap Motion).  This allows for users to ‘push’ virtual objects back and forth to each other in virtual spaces.

To test this type of networked gesture, we used the AltspaceVR SDK, an SDK for a social VR platform. With this SDK, you can create three.js apps for their innovative built-in browser that can load web pages spatially. The AltspaceVR SDK API supports the idea of behaviors attached to three-dimensional objects.  To add collision with hands, we created a new API behavior, called JointCollisionEvents, which fires collision events when the tracked skeleton of the user collides with the respective three-dimensional object.  Because our JointCollisionEvents behavior was abstracted out and contributed to the official AltspaceVR SDK, other developers testing their apps in AltspaceVR can also make use of this feature, and find novel uses for it beyond what we intended.

 

Video Demos

A single user pushing a cube in Altspace using our JointCollisionEvents API
Two, networked users pushing a cube in Altspace using our JointCollisionEvents API

 

Live Demos

(Load the following URL’s in an AltspaceVR enclosure)

elevr.com/apps/push: Networked, synchronous cube pushing among multiple users

elevr.com/apps/touch: Networked, synchronous cube touching among multiple users

 

AltspaceVR SDK Meetup

On December 1, 2016, Evelyn joined the AltspaceVR SDK Meetup in Altspace to demo the new API.  The meetup happened in virtual reality, and it was unique for a talk in that the app was able to be loaded, spatially and in realtime right in the virtual meetup space.  A giant screen behind us showed the GitHub code as we tested it, so we could talk about the new JointCollisionEvents API and how to use it. The meetup was recorded and archived, so you can watch the talk below:

Evelyn demos the JointCollisionEvents API at the AltspaceVR SDK Meetup

Community Adoption
AltspaceVR SDK developers have started using the API for their own experiments, including a piano you can play in VR:

evelyn2016-12-21_18-58-50Altspace user kai created a virtual piano, seen here being played by Vi, using our JointCollisionEvents API