Social app for HoloLens | Solo project by Yinghua, 2018 | Built with Unity, C#, Blender, Photoshop, and Premiere
People have social needs when watching matches or shows. Two traditional ways to meet such needs: 1) hosting a viewing party; 2) messaging with friends. Neither solution is ideal. Hosting a party is exhausting, while constant looking down to text friends distracts people from TV viewing. Although virtual reality allows people to watch sports immersively, the average review of such VR apps is bad because of their poor quality of video streaming. In addition, using a VR headset causes isolation to the people sitting around you.
VIEWING PARTY is a social app for AR headsets that augments your TV-viewing experience by: 1) letting you interact with the show through fan gears; 2) gamifying your experience via trivia questions; 3) bringing your remote friends to present without cutting the connection with people who are already physically sitting with you. Future features can also include checking out relevant metadata.
What I Don't Do
This app is not to make people feel watching sports at a stadium, which is many VR apps are trying to achieve. Based on my research and interviews, there are tons of benefits for watching sports at home: comfortable home environment, options to multi-tasking, high resolution TVs, well-designed close-up shots, excellent sports commentary, hanging out with family and local friends, etc.
How did I come up with the idea
I had three rounds of ideation.
Round 1: I first researched and thought through several high-level questions, such as: Why it is a problem that the current digital life is confined to small screens? Why do I want to use MR technology to push all of the digital content into the space around me? When do I want my physical world to be extended with secondary screens? etc.
I then brainstormed various high-level categories to help look for use cases. Categories I listed include: home vs. work vs. special location, B2B vs. B2B2C vs. B2C, inelastic demand vs. artificial demand vs. elastic demand, from the physical world to screen world vs. from screen world to the physical world, environment related vs. environment independent, informational vs. interactive, etc..
Round 2: I re-organized the various categories by nesting some of them into others and turning the rest into labels. For example, home vs. work vs. special location are great parent categories. Their secondary categories can be: from the physical world to screen world vs. from screen world to the physical world. In the meanwhile, "B2B v.s B2B2C v.s B2C" and "inelastic demand vs. artificial demand vs. elastic demand" can be labels.
I also listed several objectives that match what I learned from Round 1's high-level thinking. Goals I listed are:
Meet daily/frequent demands
B2B over B2B2C over B2C
Needs to be meaningful: a) good for personal or community wellbeing; b) good for an entity, such as business; c) good for the environment
Little effort for users to adopt
Solve something that either does not have a traditional solution or can be better solved by AR/MR technology
Try to change the supply and demand, instead of just changing the distribution
Used in situations that users are not hand-free or cannot look down. And the situation will last for a while
Wearing glasses does not look weird in that situation
With those objectives in mind, I brainstormed and labeled roughly 20 use cases for each category. The use cases will not be published here due to legal reasons.
Round 3: After the previous two rounds, I gained a clearer idea on what I would like to build. It needs to be used for an indoor activity that either require your eyes to be occupied or your hands. Although I am very interested in doing something B2B, I chose B2B2C instead, since I do not have enough B2B resource/support. I narrowed down to eleven use cases from the previous round and filled them with details.
Among the eleven app ideas, I eventually settled on the social app idea for TV-viewing experience. The app is designed for any types of TV show, not just sports. The business model will be B2B2C: used by regular consumers but paid by TV networks or TV manufacturers.
**Research & Development**
I cannot make this part public due to legal reasons. Please contact me if you'd like to learn how I did the user research, designed each feature, quickly prototyped the ideas using papers, tested among users, 3D modeled the flag assets, coded the app for HoloLens, etc.
More Projects by Yinghua
XR Fitness App - YOGAR - Gamified yoga with HoloLens
Extension UI - FlipWord - Learn a language while browsing
3D Modeling - 3D animation and industrial design