KidCity VR is an educational platform that allows parents and kids to play and explore together in virtual reality. The parent is able to access the game in the same room as their child or remotely via a virtual reality headset, mobile phone, laptop or desktop computer. Children can both see and hear their parent in the game, and the parent can manipulate objects in the game space remotely from their phone or computer. Treehouse was created at the 2016 Reality Virtually Hackathon at MIT and won the Grand Prize for Best VR Hack for its vision and unique multimodal functionality.
Co-Creators: Jacqueline Assar, Theji Jayaratne, Emily Pascual, Kachina Studer
What I Worked On
I mostly worked on the programming for the multimodal functionality (networked cross-platform video chat) of the application. There was very little code available for transmitting video over the network, so I had to hack together a method of sending low-level byte arrays using UDP and converting that data back into a Unity Texture. I also built the responsive interface of the mobile application.
What I Learned
This was my first time developing for VR! This was also my first time using anything related to networking in Unity. I learned a lot about VR development in this hackathon and the recognition from the event essentially kickstarted my career in the industry. I soon received several offers to join several VR startups and projects, and was overwhelmed by the opportunities that this hackathon provided me.