During the second semester of my sophomore year, I worked on a research project with two other students. In essence, we researched a way to utilize AR/VR technologies to aid in online therapy. With continual advanced in technology coupled with more online meetings and interactions due to COVID-19, the necessity for something like this is high. We researched and developed various aspects, including meeting with two people at once, eye tracking, and other factors for creating a safe and immersive virtual environment. The system we utilized was the Microsoft Hololens, and we used Unity and C# to write the program.
I mainly worked on the foundational systems to make the virtual world work. Specifically, I developed a simple avatar for the user. I also worked to expand it utilizing Kinect (but ultimately found this was beyond the scope of the research project). I also did a lot of research into how to handle positional data, to make sure that things such as movement and boundaries worked. I also created boundaries based on the surrounding area, utilizing libraries from the MRTK.
All in all, as my first research experience, I got to learn a lot more about the whole process of researching and developing based on it. I also got a lot of experience through collaborating with my teammates. I enjoyed working with the Hololens and learning about the ways to best utilize the hardware.