We are proud to announce the winners of the Immers-Ed Global Hackathon, the first hackathon at Oxford devoted to Immersive Technologies. The event, modelled upon programming hackathons, was a creative venture of the Oxford X-Reality Hub in partnership with the TORCH (En)coding Heritage Network, working in collaboration with a number of University and industry leaders. The hackathon tasked participants with devising solutions to challenges arising from the pandemic in four key areas: Cultural Heritage, Education, Environmental Sustainability and Healthcare.
Over the course of 72 hours (28 Sept. - 30 September 2021), participants from eleven countries collaborated on projects. The submissions were judged by a panel of academics and industry leaders. We are proud to announce the winners of each challenge, as well as the grand prize winner which will benefit from $10,000 of Amazon Web Services credit and expert mentorship to develop a project over the course of the next two years.
Winner of the Cultural Heritage Challenge
Addressing: How can technology facilitate inclusivity and access in the cultural heritage sector?
Museums of The Future is an immersive learning experience within the museum setting. It proposes a live virtual tour of a museum space using a robot that is remote-controlled by the learner, encouraging engagement with individual museum objects through gamification, from the comfort of one's home.
Winner of the Medical/Healthcare Challenge
Addressing: How can we redesign medical training, foster global collaboration, and improve patient care to save lives?
Havik Eye redesigns ophthalmology care. It uses Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to deliver therapy through stimulation and immersion. The application is remote, widening accessibility to healthcare and eliminating the need to travel to medical appointments.
Winner of the Education Challenge
Addressing: How can we create more engaging learning experiences and foster academic success, especially in distance-learning environments?
Chemist's Interactive Lab addresses the disruptions in education wrought by the pandemic. It creates a virtual reality learning experience that measures attention and EEG activity simultaneously to promote engagement and retention of chemistry material.
Winner of the Environmental Sustainability Challenge
Addressing: How can we emerge out of the pandemic and create more sustainable environmental practices?
Flood Alerting System addresses an environmental challenge linked to global warming. The project proposes a mobile application that predicts flash floods, unpredictable occurrences that are prevalent in South Asian countries. It reduces the damage caused by these calamities and saves lives.
Grand Prize Winner
The grand prize winner, Atrium, revolutionises audiences' experience of artworks. It proposes the creation of a mobile application that 'creates a more expansive experience for audiences that exists outside of the physical space of traditional institutions and increases exposure and engagement for artists by inviting participation from viewers through augmented reality.'
For more information about the hackathon and description of the winning projects, see the final report: https://oxr.eng.ox.ac.uk/pdf/OXR_Hackathon_Report_2021_final.pdf
The event was organised by Richard Smith, Lia Costiner and Angela Bermudo of the Oxford X-Reality Hub in collaboration with the TORCH (En)coding Heritage Network. University partners include the Oxford Heritage Network, Reuben College, the Oxford Department of Education, and industry leaders Microsoft and VISR. Sponsored by the University of Oxford IT Services, TORCH, the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine and Amazon Web Services.