SpatialStories is a new way to put together interactive real-time VR/AR content.  Michaël Martin, CTO at Apelab, shared a few quick bits of info on their toolset for anyone looking to see if this is the toolset they’ve been waiting for!

Their Unity SDK and Break a Leg VR application

Their Unity SDK and one of their creations that uses it!

SpatialStories is an intriguing concept, focusing on bringing VR/AR content creation to the masses:

“[SpatialStories is] a toolset for creating interactive real-time AR/VR content. A tool made for everyone, with or without coding knowledge! It’s the missing link between your ideas and the final experience.” — Michaël Martin

At the moment, SpatialStories appears to be available as a Unity SDK that you can request access to on their website. Michaël says that it emerged when they realised “we have no tool for VR, let’s make ours to speed up the process and to allow non-coders to create interactive content on their own!”

How’s it work?

Michaël mentions above that it is a tool made for both coders and non-coders alike. Their goal appears to be to create one tool that both coders and non-coders can use within Unity, with a standalone application on the way and other game engine support coming soon too.

“It’s a very powerful tool that allows both coders and non-coders to quickly craft interactive content within Unity. It consists of two products: an SDK available for Unity and other engines in the future and a standalone application.” — Michaël Martin

Michaël says that their concept is to allow all objects to be aware of each other and use this mentality to build your interactions:

“SpatialStories is built with the concept of making any object aware of everyone in an interactive environment including the player. So the workflow is to turn any object you have into what we call an “Interactive Object” with one click. Then you define on what conditions the object should execute its actions. We bring a lot of options for choosing your conditions and actions but you can still make your custom ones if you want.”

The dropdown for creating an interactive object

Creating an interactive object in their Unity SDK

Moving into AR

Their same workflow is compatible with augmented reality projects too, they’ve used it with Google Tango and are in the process of using it on HoloLens too:

“We’ve used SpatialStories for a project in partnership with Google Tango called Mnemonic and we’re using it right now for another project on Hololens. It basically is the same workflow as for any interactive content, except inputs are slightly different and we’ve included voice recognition which is very useful on AR.” — Michaël Martin

Overall, they’re keen to be involved in all sorts of platforms and experiment a lot with emerging hardware. As Michaël explains,

“SpatialStories is platform agnostic. It works on the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and its controller, Google Tango, Cardboard… we love to explore new hardware and technologies as they go out or even before. We have the chance to receive a lot of hardware from different manufacturers in this field, often as prototypes. That allows us to be proactive and have a good vision of where the industry is going.”

What can it do?

Michaël says that all of apelab’s projects are made exclusively with their tool, so if you’re keen to see more of what this toolkit can do, you can see their work on the Apelab website. The one below apparently involves “the offbeat adventures of an improvised magician who will have to go through multiple stages of a conjurer’s performance without missing a beat.” The first chapter of it is now available for Gear VR.

Break a Leg VR application

One of Apelab’s creations using SpatialStories that looks rather magical!

Keen to give it a go?

If you are keen to give this a try, request access to their free beta and have a read of their manual. Michaël says a forum is on its way soon too.

Thanks to Michaël for taking some time to chat about their new toolset! If you do head over and give it a go, I’d love to hear what you think about it. Let us know in the comments below, or DM me on Twitter (DMs are open to all!) at @thatpatrickguy.

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