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Biome: A shared environment for dynamic landscape creation

Biome: A shared environment for dynamic landscape creation

Created: 3/2011

This project was for a 20-week long course, usually considered a senior project. I took the course as a junior, as they were short on developers, and asked me to take it early. Xerox sponsored the class, and made it into a competition, the only guidelines being "workplace of 2020." Our team, named VisionTwentyTwenty, was made up of two developers and four designers.

We came to the conclusion that working remotely is an area that is currently in need of improvement and could utilize existing technologies, that will be even more refined in nine years. We proposed a package that one could pick up at any technology store, which included a stereoscopic webcam, a thin, flexible touch pad, virtual reality glasses, and whatever software package you would need. The webcam would capture a 3D real-time rendering of the user, and project it into the environment the user is viewing in his virtual reality glasses. He can control the environment with his touch pad, and talk and collaborate with other users also signed into the environment. A video simulating this interaction is on our site.

To prototype this proposal, we built a touch pad that connected to an application in Flash. The application was a "world manipulation game" that allowed two users to work together to change the elevation of the land, plant trees and watch them grow, change the seasons, and speed up time. The application utilized the Away3D, TUIO, and SmartFox libraries.

Our team put a lot of time and effort into our project and took great pride in our work. I have never pulled more all-nighters than on this project, but I also have never had more fun programming. Our team ended up winning the Xerox competition, out of the eight teams participating.

View our team's site here.