Report from VR Sci Hackathon

March 21, 2017

The VR SCI Hackathon provided an exploratory environment where scientific ideas, digital storytelling, and visual production worked together to produce unique VR experiences.

Virtual Reality technology is improving every day, same goes for usage. But widespread consumer uptake of virtual and augmented reality systems will likely take years. One initiative to speed this up was arranged last weekend, VR SCI Hackathon. The VR SCI Hackathon provided an exploratory environment where scientific ideas, digital storytelling, and visual production worked together to produce unique VR experiences.

Eyevinn Technology was one of the proud sponsors and I got the opportunity to be part of the jury board. The goal with the hackathon was to pick one of 17 Global goals for sustainable development and create a 60-seconds immersive scientific story. Elena Malahatka, researcher at KTH Live-in-Lab and director of VR Scientific Festival was leading the event and people from Hybrid Forest was acting mentors for all teams.

In total, 8 teams entered the two-day hackathon and you could really feel the enthusiasm and creativity when the teams gathered the first morning. A couple of presentations and demos was arranged during the weekend to further inspire and educate the teams how to think when creating unique VR experiences.

 The 17 Global Sustainability Goals

The teams worked hard up until the last minute before the final pitch to the jury board. All teams got 5 minutes to present their result and most of the teams also had a demo or implementation to show. It wasn’t an easy choice for the jury but we finally agreed on the winners, one winner of the best implementation and one winner of the best story-board.

VR, AR, and 360 video will become mainstream but technology, content, business models, and end-user experiences must evolve. VR has so far mostly been around games. Even if games will continue to be a major user of VR, this will not be enough. Education, entertainment, tourism, healthcare, and shopping are other coming users of VR and hackathons like this promote new ideas.

Walking home I felt really inspired by the event. VR and the technology around VR felt a couple of steps closer to widespread consumer uptake.

Magnus Svensson is a Media Solution Consultant and partner at Eyevinn Technology. A Swedish consultancy company specialized in streaming, VR, and gaming. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn for regular updates and news.