Third Person Viewer: OTA 2016 Best VR / Game Entry

I recently got a pixel and daydream and I had a good idea for a VR app / game that I wanted to create for the The last Over the Air Hackathon. However I am pretty terrible at naming things. Hence ‘third person viewer’. The concept is quite simple: take two phones and use one of them to transmit video to the other. Wearing the receiving phone in a VR headset this gives the user an out of body experience that is both fun and disorientating.

third person viewer 1

A better explanation and demonstration can be seen in Christian Payne‘s video below:

Here is me failing to walk up a hill in 3rd person (thanks to @enraged):

How it works

The app is split into two parts, one running the “video” server and the other running the VR.

Video server started on one phone

I used a handy spiderpod mount to place it in a far corner of a room

See yourself in 3rd person, trippy…

Source Code

The code for this app is available on github here. Please note the code is terrible and needs tidying up, so use at your own peril. There were a lot of limitations with regards video transfer, due to the fact low latency was essential to prevent you from throwing up. In the end a jpeg stream is sent over a socket as video encoding produces an unacceptable delay. If you know of any better way of doing this, I’d love to hear from you!


Thank you to Samsung for donating a Gear VR headset for winning this category, and No Starch Media for a book on Game Art

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The last Over the Air Hackathon

This year was the last Over the Air hackathon. It was the first hackathon I ever participated back when it was at the famous Bletchley Park.

This is where I developed my love for drink copious amounts of caffeine and staying up late all night coding for a presentation which would almost certainly not go to plan! It has helped improve my confidence and build friendships and I will very much miss OTA and will be looking for similar events in the future.

There were lots of interesting talks again this year and even more interesting conversations and ideas. Particually interesting were some about the future of VR and AR. I look forward to keeping in contact with everyone and to see what comes from all of this 🙂

Total wins
This is my final score table for OTA.
2016 Best VR / Game Entry – For Third Person Viewer
2013 Best Android Entry – For a Steganography based app (hiding data inside images)
2012 Best Android Entry as Team Intohand for a live cross platform quiz application

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