2018: What a Year!

VR First Season 1, Episode 2: Get ready for XR

In 2018, we have launched XR First!

From the Auggie Breakthrough Awards, to the True AR SDK WayRay ideation challenge, to the Space Exploration Masters, XR First has just begun to give VR/AR developers and enthusiasts the opportunity to prove their skills and show companies how immersive tech can be used to make business processes more efficient.

Together with ESA, the European Space Agency, AZO, and many more partners, VR First has contributed a medium that enables emerging technologies such as IOT, ML, AI, Blockchain and Big Data.

The Space Exploration Masters annually awards the best business ideas providing concrete business opportunities to strengthen the benefits of Space Exploration to society with products and services. In 2018, with the help from VR First, the innovation competition has attracted 132 new business ideas from 42 nations worldwide.

Emerging technology experts interested in the intersection with VR/AR are invited to join us for new interdisciplinary open innovation projects in 2019!

From Online to Offline Hackathons…

The list of hackathons we supported in 2018 is long — especially worth mentioning is the first Africa wide hackathon, where 35 teams from 7 countries competed for prizes worth over 15 000 $.

The Creating Reality Hackathon in March at our VR First Lab at USC was another important hackathon worth to mention. Over 400 participants were selected from 2000 applications to compete in interdisciplinary teams. Participants attended workshops, met new people, became exposed to new ideas and created original work using AR and VR equipment through the 4 day event.

The VR First Lab at BAU Istanbul hosted the Babylon Jam supported by the Goethe Institute organized by Prof. Güven Çatak, supported by Michael Barngrover and Lance G Powell Jr. The participants created games and experiences, including VR/AR, aimed at helping people to learn a new language.

In 2019, we are going to make our Hackathon Seed Support even more accessible. Please let us know if your hackathon needs more equipment, we are happy to support you! Email info@vrfirst.com for more information.

Auggie Breakthrough Awards

In collaboration with “Augmented World Expo”(AWE, founded by Ori Inbar), the world’s most prestigious immersive technologies expo and IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology, VR First organized the Auggie Breakthrough Awards in order to honour collaboration between university and industry. Over 100 projects from 39 countries and diverse backgrounds and nationalities submitted projects in healthcare, education, entertainment, manufacturing, data analytics, etc with 20 finalists from 12 countries. Among the nominees were projects from world renowned universities and companies such as UC Berkeley, USC, Stanford University, MIT Media Lab, Harvard University, Caltech with Virtualitics, Howest, Princeton University, Columbia University, Washington University (St. Louis), Vancouver Film School, UCL, Imperial College London, TU Munich,The University of Tokyo, BMW, Daimler Mercedez, UNESCO, Audi, NASA JPL, Deutsche Bahn, Red Bull, Dell, IBM, etc.

Over a hundred thousand votes came in with extremely tight competition so we’d like to congratulate again all our winners in their respective categories:

Most Innovative Breakthrough: Virtual Reality Vision Therapy VERVE (Virtual Eye Rotation Vision Exercises) by OculoMotor Technologies, NJIT, Salus University, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, New Jersey Health Foundation, National Science Fdn, John Vito d'Antonio-Bertagnolli

Most Impactful Breakthrough: Virtual Reality Flight Simulator for Surgery by FundamentalVR, Kings College London, Mayo Clinic, University College Hospital London, Imperial College London, UCLA, 3D Systems, Figment Productions

Women XR Laureate: Dr. Tara Alvarez, head of VERVE project

What was your top VR/AR moment of 2018? Let us know! We would love to connect and make the industry grow together.

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In case you missed it, read the part 1 of the VR First’s 2018 retrospect series