After looking at the list of challenges I the decided on,
- Spend 20 minutes undertaking the ‘I’ phase (inspiration) of the ICEDIP method for a new idea for an app, and then spend 10 mins evaluating the results.
and followed Geoff’s advice to ” Let yourself off the leash!”. I’ve been thinking a lot about “Presence” (spatial immersion for the technically minded) and the users POV, so this activity sounded really interesting. I put the timer on and got started. After twenty minutes I had a paper full of ideas that started off safe but moved into the “what if” realm of thought.
A few of the interesting ones where:
- Having an AI simulation that can interact and respond to your actions or reactions using your avatar or voice.
- Learning a language by being dropped into a “virtual city” where everyone interacts with you in the language you’ve chosen.
- A VR app that can “read” your dreams so you can explore them again.
- An AI / VR app that lets you talk with people from the past – you could have a chat with Jean Baudrillard about reality.
- Having mixed reality pets that have persistence in the world and age.
- A mixed-reality baby sitter for young children.
Spending a few minutes looking back on them, it would be really fun to be able to breath life into these ideas. I liked the idea of being able to sort through your dreams or of even creating a dream scrapbook you could share with people. One or two my be possible in a very limited way but overall it was fun to think about and gave me an idea or two play with. The challenge now would be to come up with a business plans to pitch on of these ideas and research needed to support it.
Having said that, I have started researching the idea of a VR language learning app in which users could converse with an AI character. Having an AI character like Miquela Sousa that students could learn with would be really intriguing experience. So, I started exploring just what speech capable AI’s are available and are able to integrate into the Unity platform. Microsoft has Azure client and Amazon has Sumerian but that service may only run on AWS servers. There IBM Watson and SmartBody by the University of California. At the moment, IBM Watson looks to be the most promising because of their recent partnership, bringing Watson’s AI functionality to Unity’s gaming engine, with built-in VR/AR features. I have added this to my Trello board for now and will continue to follow it.