So, seems people liked it so I am going to start making a new version of Hack24 in Unity
Building it in Unity will allow me to get past a lot of my performance issues.
If you enjoyed the game, please let me know what you liked and what you want in the next version!
At work, I have been tasked with investigating Virtual Reality and what can be done with it. The results went in to a Lab Report to that was sent to the rest of the business. When thinking about building any VR proof of concept (POC), Unity just makes sense due to how easy they make it to enable it (a single tick box). Out of the box, they support the main headsets (Rift, GearVR, Vive) to a useable level. All of my POC’s where targeted at the Samsung GearVR as currently that’s the only commercial headset available. This does give you some challenges due to the lack of user interaction possible and performance. That’s been my major struggle recently, gett the FPS up.
Unity do offer some very nice and pretty VR samples in the Asset store, its recommended for anyone to take a look at how they are put together. They also show you have to pickup taps / swipes etc on the GearVR touch pad.
Another challenge I have faced with being a programmer, and not a designer is making stuff look awesome, luckily in the Lab we have someone who knows Unity a lot better than I do and has a eye for detail, which most developers lack.
All in all I have enjoyed learning Unity and hope to use it with some proper VR hardware (Vive / Rift), I also hope that if I do get to do a larger project in it, that I have a more powerful machine. Even my fairly new MacBook Pro struggles with Unity.
I have also learned a lot about good but mainly bad uses of VR, the key message here is, don’t use VR for everything, use it for its strengths
So, I was very honoured to be invited to the VRUKFest in London last week as a panelist and judge due to me investigating Virtual Reality for O2. People were very interested in how I thought O2 could use VR. The event was amazing, I got to meet some of the industry leaders in VR (PlayStation, Rewind etc), hardware from HTC (Vive Pre), Wizdish (treadmill, Pacman in VR). The VR Space is super exciting at the moment and is only going to get better!
So, apologies for the lack of updates. Work in the O2 Lab has been pretty busy in a fun way. I also been doing a lot in the robotics area (see my youtube http://www.youtube.com/user/burf2000).
So, as for coding I have been working in Java/Android/Lejos when working on my LEGO robots, a lot of this I have opened sourced on GitHub.
As for non robotic stuff, I have been tasked with learning more about Virtual Reality and learning Unity (Best tool for the job), and I have to be honest, now that I have thrown some proper time at Unity, I really like it! Virtual Reality is enabled by a tick box.
So I don’t have much to show yet but some cool VR stuff will be coming soon 🙂
If your in London this weekend, why not pop along to Brick @ Excel
I have brought the LEGO Wheelchair out of retirement, and some new stuff to show off!
I have known John for a few years now due to him doing a write up on my LEGO Wheelchair for Make, back then he was working on a book that covered using LEGO and Arduino’s together, called Make: Lego and Arduino Projects: Projects for extending MINDSTORMS NXT with open-source electronics. It’s a fantastic book!
His new book, Hacking Your Lego Mindstorms EV3 is on a similar theme but of course for the EV3, not the NXT. It also covers making your own parts via 3D Printing and Laser cutting which I found very useful.
The book features nice colourful based instructions to build 5 projects and then how to hack each one (e.g change the EV3 for a Arduino or Pi). Like the previous book, this book uses products from Wayne and Layne e.g the Bricktronic Shield however also includes hacks / projects using the Raspberry Pi. I would of liked to have seen the introduction to Electronics chapter added to this book which exists in the previous book. I believe this book is more designed for beginners than the previous book.
If you own a EV3 and want to take it to the next step by using another controller, this book is a very good introduction for you.
Come and see me at the O2 stand 🙂
So I was really lucky and got asked to show the VEX Skateboard at NY Maker Faire. Over 1000 people had a go. The weather was awesome (24 degrees), it was huge. It was epic!!
I recommend to everyone to visit a Maker Faire, so much cool stuff. Please check out my Album : New York Maker Faire
So, I decided to buy a 3D Printer, I found a site that offered online chat and talked to a lovely person. I brought the Wanhao i3 Duplicator
Here is how I got on
So, as you may or may not know, I changed jobs in March. This was a pretty big thing for me as I have not changed companies for over 13 years! My new job is at the O2 Labs as their senior iOS developer (woop woop!).
The lab is tasked with looking in to new tech, create prototypes of useful discoveries and then showing the business how they can use it (their is probably a more official better way to say it). Generally people are not limited by skillset, so I can look at Android stuff, or robotics or anything that could be useful within reason.
It’s odd changing from a small company to a huge one, but so far its awesome (excluding travelling, damn you M3)!
I have been spending quite a bit of my time researching the new iOS8 api’s which has been fun. It’s nice just focusing on the new stuff for once.
I have also managed to bring LEGO Mindstorms in to the Lab (well they technically had the old version)