Learn how Onix-Systems helped to build a VR meditation app
Enticing users with diverse content and helping them meditate, calm down, and recharge daily, InnerVR aims to make mindfulness a habit.
The application supports Quest, Quest 2, and Meta Quest Pro.
Unfortunately, often people who need it most can’t do it due to trouble focusing attention or lack of motivation.
VR technology has the unique capability to create a sense of presence in various 3D computer-generated environments, capturing a person’s attention and blocking distractions from the real world.
offering new places for mindfulness sessions
focusing their attention on the present moment
allowing users to attend to visual and auditory anchors of their choice
reducing the scope of the content in their mind-wandering
There is evidence that appropriately designed VR mindfulness sessions can support mindfulness practice by increasing users’ state of mindfulness, reducing negative emotional states, and inducing positive affect. Some reported effects include decreased levels of sadness, anger, and anxiety, as well as being significantly more relaxed.
Users play the game sitting or standing, with the ability to move, using touch controllers.
Once in the virtual environment, they meet Mortimer – a cute alien who will be their guide to the InnerVR world.
Mortimer tells the user how they can travel to different worlds and complete various meditations, encourages to register, and instructs to select a world to travel to.
InnerVR Beta offers several types of meditations, each built around a topic, such as „Body Meditations”, „Loving Kindness”, or „Morning Move“. On each topic, players can choose from at least three individual meditations, e.g., Body 1, Body 2, and Body 3.
These experiences redefine the meaning of meditation. Players use their controller and feel haptics when they light lanterns in a peaceful lake village during the Loving Kindness meditation or create their own Sound Bath in a Japanese garden.
These meditations in immersive worlds include only audio and visuals without any interactions. For example, guided meditations and soothing music, and visuals of a cozy snow mountain village are designed to help users reflect within and get ready for sleep.
Players stretch and move their bodies to generate physical Mindful Energy on a peaceful tropical beach and other InnerVR worlds. Move meditations use the Stretch library created by Onix.
When the player starts the world they want to go to, Mortimer will run them through a daily feelings check-in, asking how they’re feeling and why. This information will be recorded and used for future logins for encouragement and support. For example, if the user felt sad yesterday, Mortimer will say: «Hope you’re feeling better today!»
The more Mindful Energy a player generates, the more worlds and activities they unlock, InnerVR thus sustaining their interest and helping build a habitual meditation practice.
Jimmy Gambier, the founder and CEO of InnerVR, is a product manager at Growth Verticals, Uber, but also tried his hand at virtual reality development.
When he conceived a VR-first relaxation game experience, he began to develop it on his own.
To build VR games for meditation and relaxation that will be beautiful, interesting, and provide enough content to have users come back at least once a day;
To create a product that will sell well on the app store.
The VR meditation app development team included simultaneously:
We like having a project manager who helps manage the project, the development, and art team.
Amplify, an asset for creating shaders in Unity. We used Amplify to create custom shaders, such as the wind moving the sea, sand, and palm trees. Most of the materials in the project were created using Amplify.
Bakery, an asset for baking lightmaps in Unity. We utilized it to bake lighting throughout the project. And since Bakery offers greater control and quality of work, it helped us better optimize the project.
The main location was divided into three: starting position in the field, then a lakeshore, and finally a snow-capped mountain. The client was more than satisfied with the new look and optimization.
The character of Mortimer was introduced to facilitate user onboarding. The friendly alien also adds some cuteness so that users don’t feel like this is a super serious experience.
Optimization was the primary challenge. The client wanted some scenes to comprise plenty of objects. However, since InnerVR is essentially a VR application based on mobile hardware, rendering large numbers of objects is problematic.
We used a tool that our 3D TechArtist created in his spare time. It lets developers create sprites from models right in the Unity scene, with the scene’s lighting, making it hard to tell if there is an object in front of the viewer or just a sprite with that object’s image. Utilizing it to the fullest for InnerVR, the team was able to save a lot of time, improve the quality of sprites, and dramatically increase productivity with little effort.
One of the most interesting tasks during this Oculus meditation app development was the wind effect for the beach scene. The team created it using an Amplify-generated shader.
Major projects went smoothly, as was Onix-Systems' ability to get a beta approved by the Oculus App Store. Communication was constant and mostly good throughout.
Onix helped the client to prepare InnerVR Beta for release on the Oculus App Lab store. We optimized the beta version to the app store’s standards to facilitate its rapid approval and prepared the textual and visual content for InnerVR’s page.
Excellent. This is such
an amazing app! Very awesome graphics! This app is a powerful meditation tool!
I love it!
Onix’s collaboration with InnerVR on the Oculus meditation app development continues.
The team is now focused on refining the return player experience and adding more content.
The client’s new Creative Director develops a new interface and Onix’s developers are working on new meditations and effects for the existing InnnerVR worlds.