Activity in the CEID has picked up so quickly that it is difficult to imagine that just a few months ago, the classes and clubs now filling the space had not started up for the year. However, it was anything but empty in the summer months; from June through August, the CEID Summer Fellows filled the Center. In its second year, the CEID Summer Fellowship program took on a wide variety of exciting projects, from interactive art made with printed circuits to a green climate control system for the Solar Decathlon. One team, Hack Reality, is currently working to install a station in the CEID to share their summer’s work with the wider Yale community.
Hack Reality is a team composed of two members of the class of 2016, Derek Gritz, an economics major, and Kevin Tan, a physics major. Using Oculus Rift glasses and an Xbox Kinect, the pair created an interactive virtual reality environment. In their world, not only can you visualize images in 3D through the Oculus, but you can also grab, throw, walk, and more. Because of all the hard work Hack Reality is doing interfacing software, it will ultimately be pretty simple; the Kinect senses your movement, the computer makes it a reality, and the Oculus lets you experience it.
Derek and Kevin hope that this tool may become useful in architecture, by giving designers an easy and intuitive way to actually understand how different materials, items, and colors would look in context.
To conclude the summer project, the Hack Reality imported the Google SketchUp files created by Charney Architects LLC, who designed the CEID just a few years ago. The pair incorporated changes made in the Center since its original design, from the material of the tables to little hints of each of the summer fellowship projects. Now they aim to make this tool available to the public and are finishing setting up a working station in the CEID by the end of the term. When it is complete, any CEID member will be able to put on the Oculus Rift and walk into a simulated CEID, where they can immerse themselves in a virtual, interactive CEID experience.