27th October 2016, Brussels – The VR Hackathon focused on B2B solutions and organized by the Microsoft Innovation Center Brussels, Impulse Brussels, Screen Brussels and EU.VR took place on October 21, 22 and 23 at the ICAB Incubator in Brussels. More than 70 participants composed of developers, designers, sound experts, entrepreneurs and students joined in for this wonderful event. They were coached by 25 experts in Virtual Reality and Project Management. Out of 27 ideas on Friday, 9 projects emerged and 4 of them won a prize on Sunday.

On Friday October 21, around 70 people gathered at the ICAB Incubator in Brussels for the Kick-Off of this Hackathon on Virtual Reality, with a specific focus on B2B solutions in 4 specific fields: Real Estate, Healthcare, Commerce and Data Visualization. After a dedicated moment for attendees to meet and eat, they had the opportunity to be boosted by Matteo Gatta, Technology & Innovation Director @ Proximus, and speaker at the event.

The participants then pitched the ideas they had for the week-end. 27 ideas were submitted, which shows the participants’ enthusiasm for VR. After a vote for their favorite projects, 9 actually stood out:

  • SHROOM: Learn what kind of mushrooms you can select when wandering around the woods. Experience what it feels like if you would eat the wrong one and learn to recognize them. This project could also have some applications for education and sensitization purposes. It could also be improved to help detect what kind of spiders, snakes or berries, for example, are dangerous.
  • BEBOB: This tool helps physically challenged people explore the world by lending them the shoulder of someone who is out there in the world and allowing mutual interaction through VR. This project is focused on one-to-one relationship to emphasize the fact that the psychological health is really important for disabled people. 
  • Mirror, mirror on the wall: A tool which incorporates VR and Real Estate by giving the user a personalized VR experience. Basically, it gathers metadata from the user’s social media profiles such as Facebook, Pinterest or Spotify and recreates an environment more likely to seduce the user by displaying his or her own favourite music and furniture. 
  • Curious Craft: The audience at a fair or an event can engage in multiple attractions by using giant screens and multiplayer functions. The players use VR headsets and the audience can see it all on big screens, and could even interact with it in live via hashtags to add or remove features in a near future. 
  • You’ll never be sold out: A tool to give the user a live concert in VR. The user could stand in the crowd or on the scene while experiencing an amazing surrounding sound quality. 
  • External Mind: This tool will simplify the organisation of data. Users can organise and manipulate their data or account with simple movements and gestures through VR. 
  • BVRN: Fire safety training: learn the do’s and don’ts in case of a fire emergency. 
  • ASSESS VR: Assess VR empowers companies with the tools to evaluate and recruit talents more effectively using situational VR Assessments. All kinds of data can be recorded and analysed to evaluate the candidate’s personality. 
  • Metropolis/Virtual Finance: Give investors the useful place to navigate easily through personal financial data and have a clear view of all the information.

On Saturday October 22, while working on their project, participants could assist to 4 workshops given by incredibly inspiring speakers:

  • Business Modelling by Bruno Wattenbergh, COO @ Impulse
  • We live in the matrix: how recommendation algorithms shape our lives by Pierre-Nicolas Schwab, Marketing & Big Data Expert, Academic Researcher & University Lecturer, Founder of IntotheMinds
  • A techie survival guide to medical product development by Frédéric Condolo, Chief Product Office @ MindMaze SA
  • HoloLens: development opportunities and demo by Yannick Joachim, Mobile Marketing Specialist & Mobile Experience Analyst @ Tapptic

On Sunday 23, after a hard night of work, the 9 teams could finally pitch their project in front of the jury and audience. In order to have the full VR experience, the jury visited the different teams individually and experienced a short demonstration of their VR project. The jury was composed of the following experts:

  • Sebastian Serrano, Innoviris
  • Frédéric Condolo, Mindmaze
  • Frédéric Feytons, Tapttic
  • Juan Bossicard, Impulse
  • Michael Aratow, WEB 3D
  • Matteo Gatta, Proximus

After deliberating for a while, the jury finally rewarded 4 teams with prizes:

  1. Best pitch of show: SHROOM
  2. Best VR Project: Curious Craft
  3. Best company of show (award sponsored by Proximus): BeBoB
  4. Startup of show by (award sponsored by BoostVC): ASSESS VR

This was a great week-end and both the organizers and the jury members were absolutely amazed by the quality of the projects that the different teams managed to pull off in only two days. We’re glad we got to meet such motivated and creative people and we hope our next edition will be at least as good as this one. Many thanks to all participants, to our speakers, to our experts, to our guests and to our fellow organizers for the great moments we shared all together. See you next time!

You can keep tagging your news about this event by using @vrhackathonbxl and #vrhackathonbxl. You can also check out these links to see the press coverage:

For more pictures of the event, you can consult this link or this Panono library for 360° pictures!

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