Last week, from June 19 – 21, we were at Unity’s premiere in Berlin: Unite 2018. This conference brought together Unity’s video game and development community. Unity touches 770 million gamers all over the world and is the market leader for consumer AR and VR use cases and is also rapidly emerging as the market leader for enterprise AR and VR. The three days were filled with hands-on workshops, technical sessions, and previews of upcoming technology.

What is Unity?

Unity is the most widely used content-creation engine and editor, used to create 2D and 3D, data visualisations, AR and VR, and a whole lot more. Back at Index 2018, IBM and Unity partnered up, we have launched the IBM Watson SDK for Unity, available on the Unity Asset Store. Watson’s voice recognition, speech-to-text, and image recognition features make for a promising addition to the Unity game engine. This is the first asset of its kind, to bring scalable AI services to Unity. Make the most of the SDK, including Watson Services like Speech, Visual, Translation, and more. Your games and applications can hear and speak with powerful AI-driven features. This means millions of Unity developers now have access to these services. Discover more about the IBM Watson SDK for Unity.

Visit the Asset Store and download the IBM Watson SDK for Unity today!

Unite Berlin

We also have a VR Speech Sandbox for Unity, which is a sample application to easily build an Interactive Speech Interface in VR. Leveraging the power of two Watson services, Speech to Text (which transcribes the voice command into parsible text) and Conversation (which parses the meaning of the text and delivers the command), this toolkit is ready to go. The Watson-powered voice interaction system understands users and allows them to speak naturally. Check out our IBM Unity assets here. This is where you can download all our available assets and resources. You can now set up the VR Speech Sandbox asset in under 30 minutes! Come and play in the IBM VR Speech Sandbox and show the world what you can create with Watson.

“This year’s Unite in Berlin was my first Unite conference and I have to say it was very interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. I especially liked the discussions with developers on how to use AI in both Unity games and business applications. For example, we demonstrated how the IBM Watson SDK for Unity can be used in AR and VR applications, to steer characters via voice and to build virtual assistants. Another popular topic at the event was support for TensorFlow in Unity to run predictions locally in the Unity applications. Visitors at the booth appreciated that for the training of these TensorFlow models, IBM Watson Studio can be used to leverage cloud computing power including GPUs.” – IBM Developer Advocate Niklas Heidloff

What did we get up to at Unite?

“Developers at Unite Berlin were keen to learn from our fantastic team of advocates about how they could use the IBM Watson SDK for Unity to integrate our AI/ML services into their applications, and it really helped having the Star Trek Bridge Crew VR game on our stand to show an example of this integration working in practice. The Call for Code initiative also generated a lot of interest, with Anamita Guha’s Design Thinking mini Workshop inspiring people to think about the types of impactful projects that they might commit to the cause.” – IBM Developer Outreach Leader Kevin Farrar

Many developers had heard about our Watson Services on the Unity Asset Store and were curious about how to get started. Our booth had different demos to showcase how to develop AR and VR applications using Artificial Intelligence, or how to create voice applications and games with Unity and Watson together. One example we showed was the following Star Trek game… This goes where no VR game has gone before. Can’t find enough people to fill up a United Federation shuttle craft? With Star Trek Bridge Crew you can. Even if you and your friends are a crew member down, you can give orders to other AI-operated crew members so your team is complete! Ubisoft’s Virtual Reality game is fully integrated with IBM Watson’s interactive speech and cognitive capabilities. Using the IBM VR Speech Sandbox means you can interact with Star Trek crew members and the spaceship using natural language voice commands.

IBM at the Unity conference

What is the Call for Code?

This multi-year global initiative is a rallying cry for developers to use their skills and mastery of the latest technologies, to create new ones, and to drive positive change across the world through their code. Call for Code brings startup, academic, and enterprise developers together and inspires them to solve the most pressing societal issues of our time. This global competition challenges developers to create tech for good causes, for which there are great prizes. Each year there will be a different focus, this time the goal is to address natural disaster preparedness and relief.
At Unite Berlin 2018, we held a Design Thinking workshop in answer to the Call for Code. The IBM Design Thinking approach provides a framework to solve problems, which we implemented for the Call for Code. 45 participants joined our session and together we brainstormed what issues our code should address. In the ideation stage, we decorated the walls with ideas and everyone gets to contribute freely. From all the possible ideas, there is a round of voting for the most impactful and feasible. In the ideation session, the result was unanimous, the technology should help to save the bees! Following the vote, we focused on establishing a more detailed strategy to analyse the current situation, identify the causes, and ultimately track progress.

One theme unites these efforts…
both our partnership with Unity and our Call for Code: we are leveraging the power of AI!

IBM & Unity

Discover more about creating voice applications and games
Get the Code: create a virtual reality speech sandbox
Check it out: get up close to the Star Trek Bridge Crew game
Explore: sample Sandbox app and code on GitHub
Discover: Natural Language Understanding
Test: try the NLU demo

Introducing the Watson SDK for Unity
Join Unite Los Angeles 2018: Unity Developer Conference from October 23-25. We’ll see you there!
Or check out our IBM Code Berlin page to see all our Developer Advocates and their latest activities!

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