Created as part of an 2017 American Express (Community of Technical Practice) internal hackathon, Destinations VR was a small project centered around providing a business agnostic, reusable framework for presenting 360 videos, RTSP streaming feeds and 360 slideshow content.
A json file allows a business unit to create a customized ‘tour’, with ability to place directional (N(orth), NNW, NW, E, S, W, etc..) UI elements that facilitate buttons for launching content or to navigate into sub-menus.
Easy Movie Texture was a core Unity Asset purchased, which allowed for seamless .MP4 presentation. A separate use-case was also developed within DestinationsVR, using RTSP streaming as a means for watching a real time streaming feed in full 360 as if sitting on-location.
During the hackathon finals, a Samsung Galaxy 360 camera was used to stream 1080p content from NYC using NGINX to a set of load balanced WOWZA servers hosted in Phoenix. From there, a .m3u8 stream was made available for access, which DestinationsVR (as a Unity oriented application), running from workstations in Florida and Palo Alto, then streamed in real time for Oculus VR Viewing. While not great in terms of visual fidelity, the time lag in viewing from source to destination was < 5 seconds.
Several business units are now using Destinations VR to establish customized 360 Video training using Oculus for viewing. Travel and Lifestyle Services team representatives are watching remote Hotel and destination Videos to get a more detailed sense of the locations Cardmembers are requesting information about. Learning teams are using 360 videos for ‘empathy’ based training, better understanding some scenarios where Customers interact with Merchants. The end result is helping all teams better service Customers having a more accurate sense of the situation, destination.