May 21, 2018

The MiniDevs meet the MicroDevs



Since late last year Theta's Innovation Lab has been working with students from Newlands Intermediate school – the MiniDevs – to develop Theta MIX. The platform, (since renamed and launched as Mixiply), allows people to script interactive mixed reality experiences in their browser that can run on headsets, smartphones, tablets and PCs.

A key part of this project is to expose the students to real world software development, so we got together with Microsoft for a session of pitching, discussing ideas and writing code.

Microsoft Visitors (Left to Right): Ben Brown, Anurati Mathur, Anna Lim, Helena Jackson, Stephen Lines

The kids were super excited to have visitors from such a big company and grilled them about how their business works, what they do for their jobs, and why the new surfaces have different ports. They were understandably a bit nervous when it came to our next step of the afternoon: pitching their ideas.

Sam pitching his ideas

The MiniDevs each did a pitch for an idea that could be made in Theta MIX (now Mixiply). They all did a really good job, with ideas ranging from a fly-on-the-wall podcast viewer to a competitive multi-verse simulation game. Some of the ideas used the unique capabilities of the HoloLens to share virtual experiences between users – to put them into a single virtual space – and have them interact with and fight each other.

After the kids were done pitching, they jumped on the computers and, with the help of the MicroDevs (the MiniDevs coined that phrase), did some scripting on Theta MIX. It took a while for the MiniDevs to get started when they were first introduced to the scripting language, but they insisted that they wanted to do real programming and are now well on their way.

With a bit of guidance from the Microsoft crew, Theta, and of course Newlands Intermediate, these MiniDevs are on track to becoming pros in no time.

UPDATE 26 October 2018: Theta MIX has come out of early alpha and launched as

Tim King is part of Theta’s Innovation Lab, working on new and emerging technologies like the internet of things and mixed reality, as well as being involved with product development.