HackDay 17: Virtual Museum of Homelessness

Matt Butt explains our project at the HD Marketplace

In my first hack day since returning to REA, we formed a team around sharing a story of a lady made homeless by domestic abuse using Virtual Reality. Over the course of the two days we constructed a virtual environment that people could walk around using the Oculus DK1 headset and an XBox controller.

This was one of our first attempts at building something in VR using Unity, with some of our very early experiences outsourced. I was joined on the team by Matt Butt from DiUS. I’m very happy with what we managed to produce over the two days.

As people move around the virtual environment to each of the exhibits it starts playing audio from an inteview that the lady gave about her situation. I wasn’t sure how well this would work given that we lack the capability to animate the exhibits so it’s very much a still posed picture and a sound track, but it is quite moving when you experience it.

We had lots of good feedback from those that tried it at the marketplace, though we did struggle to get enough people through the experience. The VR headset is quite the bottleneck.