"A WebVR experience to assist my physically separated family in connecting with each other and creating an environment of togetherness."

 

Semper Simul

Personal Project | ITP Thesis with Professor Stefani Bardin | May 2018

WebVR Development | Interaction Design

Tools: Three.js, KinectV2, Kinectron, WebRTC, and 3D scanning

 

Thesis Statement

How can technology help my family who is separated by distance emotionally connect?

Semper Simul, meaning ‘always together’, is a Real-time Multi-user WebVR experience for my physically separated family to connect and feel togetherness. It aims to give a feeling of eating together on the same table in one shared space.

 Synopsis

Semper Simul is my artistic approach to shorten the gaps between my family, who is separated by long distances. Since I came to the United States to study when I was 17, I have been living far away from my loving family who remain in my home country. I miss my childhood when my family always stayed together under one roof and enjoyed meals together everyday. How can I recreate this feeling of togetherness? According to a study, eating with family is important because it not only helps the family to be mentally healthy but also makes them stay together. I believe that eating together is the most basic and meaningful family ritual that keeps families emotionally connected. What if my family members can eat with each other everyday with the help of an immersive communication platform I create? I hope my family will be able to communicate with each other more by sharing the eating ritual over distances.

 Process

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 Technology

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How Kinect V2 is used:

1. Detecting the body joints to track head and arm movements and positions. You can only see your arms in the scene.

2. Getting a Real-time 3D (depth) video to display in the partner’s scene.

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Electron + Kinect2 + PeerJS = Kinect data broadcast to browsers:

The body data points are sent over though a real-time peer server to a client, which is a Three.js scene.

Thesis Presentation

 

Research

Health, Happiness and Eating Together - Adrian C Sleigh and others

Correlations Between Family Meals and Psychosocial Well-being - Marla E. Eisenberg and others

Eating together is important - L. Wright and others

The Family That Eats Together, Stays Together - Alaina Anderson

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