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Create voice commands for VR experiences with Watson services

Read this in other languages: 한국어, 中国.

In this Code Pattern we will create a Virtual Reality game based on Watson's Speech-to-Text and Watson's Assistant services.

In Virtual Reality, where you truly “inhabit” the space, speech can feel like a more natural interface than other methods. Providing speech controls allows developers to create more immersive experiences. The HTC Vive is the 3rd most popular head-mounted VR devices (not including Google Cardboard) and an ideal candidate for Speech interaction, selling roughly 400 thousand units in 2016.

When the reader has completed this Code Pattern, they will understand how to:

  • Add IBM Watson Speech-to-Text and Assistant to a Virtual Reality environment build in Unity.


  1. User interacts in virtual reality and gives voice commands such as "Create a large black box".
  2. The HTC Vive Headset microphone picks up the voice command and the running application sends it to Watson Speech-to-Text.
  3. Watson Speech-to-Text converts the audio to text and returns it to the running Application that powers the HTC Vive.
  4. The application sends the text to Watson Assistant. Watson Assistant returns the recognized intent "Create" and the entities "large", "black", and "box". The virtual reality application then displays the large black box (which falls from the sky).

Included components

Featured technologies

  • Unity: A cross-platform game engine used to develop video games for PC, Mac, consoles, mobile devices and websites.

Watch the Video


  1. Before you begin
  2. Create IBM Cloud services
  3. Building and Running

1. Before You Begin

2. Create IBM Cloud services

On your local machine:

git clone
cd vr-speech-sandbox-vive

In IBM Cloud:

Import the Assistant workspace.json:

  • Find the Assistant service in your IBM Cloud Dashboard.
  • Click on the service and then click on Launch tool.
  • Go to the Skills tab.
  • Click Create new
  • Click the Import skill tab.
  • Click Choose JSON file, go to your cloned repo dir, and Open the workspace.json file in data/workspace.json.
  • Select Everything and click Import.

To find the WORKSPACE_ID for Watson Assistant:

  • Go back to the Skills tab.
  • Find the card for the workspace you would like to use. Look for IBM Speech Sandbox Vive.
  • Click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the card and select View API Details.
  • Copy the Workspace ID GUID. Save it configuration later.

"Get Workspace ID"

3. Building and Running

Note: This has been compiled and tested using Unity 2018.2.14f1 and Watson Unity SDK from the Unity asset Store as of July 24, 2018 and tested with the develop branch of the github unity-sdk as of commit d1ce5607ebb77 Nov 1 2018.

Note: If you are in any IBM Cloud region other than US-South you must use Unity 2018.2 or higher. This is because Unity 2018.2 or higher is needed for TLS 1.2, which is the only TLS version available in all regions other than US-South.

  1. Download the Unity SDK for Watson or perform the following:
git clone

Make sure you are on the develop branch.

  1. Open Unity and inside the project launcher select the Open button.

  2. Navigate to where you cloned this repository and open the Creation Sandbox directory.

  3. If prompted to upgrade the project to a newer Unity version, do so.

  4. Follow these instructions to add the Watson Unity SDK downloaded in step 1 to the project.

  5. Follow these instructions to create your Speech To Text and Watson Assistant services and find their credentials (using IBM Cloud You can find your workspace ID by selecting the expansion menu on your assistant workspace and selecting View details.

    View Details Location

  6. In the Unity Hierarchy view, click on _Scenes->MainGame->MainMenu and then the SaveCredentials object.

  7. In the Inspector you will see Variables for Speech To Text and Watson Assistant and either CF Authentication for the Cloud Foundry username and password, or the IAM Authentication if you have the IAM apikey. Since you only have only one version of these credentials, fill out only one of the two for each service.

  8. Fill out the Speech To Text Service Url, the Assistant Service Url, the Assistant Workspace Id, and the Assistant Version Date. There are tool tips which will show help and any defaults.

  1. Install Blender
  2. In the Unity editor project tab, select Assets->Scenes->MainGame->MainMenu and double click to load the scene.
  3. Press Play


Learn more

  • Artificial Intelligence Code Patterns: Enjoyed this Code Pattern? Check out our other AI Code Patterns.
  • AI and Data Code Pattern Playlist: Bookmark our playlist with all of our Code Pattern videos
  • With Watson: Want to take your Watson app to the next level? Looking to utilize Watson Brand assets? Join the With Watson program to leverage exclusive brand, marketing, and tech resources to amplify and accelerate your Watson embedded commercial solution.


This code pattern is licensed under the Apache Software License, Version 2. Separate third party code objects invoked within this code pattern are licensed by their respective providers pursuant to their own separate licenses. Contributions are subject to the Developer Certificate of Origin, Version 1.1 (DCO) and the Apache Software License, Version 2.

Apache Software License (ASL) FAQ

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