AT&T VR Mobile App Hackathon – SF
Last weekend, we challenged Bay Area developers to join us at Galvanize in San Francisco to code virtual reality (VR) apps using Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Gear VR devices. In the end, 127 attendees answered the call. With the help of experts from AT&T, Samsung and Coding House they created nine mobile apps including seven leveraging Samsung Gear VR. The quality and variety of applications that were built in such a short time period was truly astounding.
To kickoff the event we were given an inspiring and detailed history of virtual reality by Kenji Kato from NASA’s Ames Research Center. Many were stunned to learn of some of the first prototypes, such as the Sensorama, were created as early as the 1960s and computer scientist Ivan Sutherland actually created what is widely seen as the first functioning VR headset, the Sword of Damocles in 1968. We were then given a great look at the VR technologies used by NASA in the 1980s and 1990s before being reminded of some of the first consumer attempts at VR in both Sega VR and Nintendo Virtual Boy. It was truly awesome to see how extraordinarily far VR technology has come not only since its creation, but in the last 20 years. Not only do we now have immersive games like Temple Run VR, but we now have professional sports teams leveraging VR in order to train their players!
As you might expect some of the top apps created during our VR hackathon centered on gaming. Our overall winner, Cube Runner Carnage, was an awesome accomplishment for such a short time period. The team took the classic Cube Runner gameplay and transformed it into an immersive world using VR that definitely took the game to another level. In addition to making the player feel much more integrated into the game’s environment, it also created a stunning and potentially stomach churning ending when you hit an obstacle.
Not all of the VR apps created were games. The Global Giving app had an original and powerful use case for VR. The app is designed to leverage VR to allow donors to immerse themselves fully in the world of people and causes seeking donations. Donors can then once again revisit the person or cause after their donation has been received and immerse themselves once again to see the impact their generosity has had. How is this possible? Through the use of a 360-degree camera and the creation of a media player within their app that provides a richer experience than simply watching a 2D video.
AT&T VR Mobile App Hackathon – San Francisco Winners
- Best VR App Overall – Cube Runner Carnage
- Best Mobile App Overall – Virtual Alphabet
- Honorable Mention – Math Explorer
- Honorable Mention – Who Is Available?
Community Choice Award – YOU DECIDE! Add a comment to this blog to cast your vote.
- 1st Place Coding House Challenge – Cube Runner Carnage
- 2nd Place Coding House Challenge – Global Giving
- 3rd Place Coding House Challenge – Battle of Hoth
Here is a list of ALL the apps created during the event (and don’t forget to vote for your favorite!):
Virtual Alphabet – “Our app helps kindergarteners and disabled people learn how to trace the alphabet in various languages, including Japanese, Korean, and Punjabi.”
Math Explorer – “VR can help people visualize abstract concepts such as vectors by allowing users to experience/interact with them in both a first-person and third person omniscient role. This app was created to help students understand mathematical concepts and how they are applied across various situations. Math Explorer allows you to use your understanding of the concepts of magnitude and direction to solve problems. These concepts are used in a game simulation of a rocket ship that must leave one planet to land on another.”
Cube Runner Carnage – “The evil cubes are after you! Run through the forest of doom and don’t get caught by their tentacles of doom! Don’t run into them, otherwise it’s a shortcut to your tomb! See how long you can last in this perilous thriller. Enjoy!”
Global Giving – “Our app allows donors to see the impact of the money contributed to people by immersing them on-site in virtual reality.”
Class Rank App – “The app will poll UC Berkeley students and professionals in real time to find out which classes they thought students should pick and rank those classes.
The idea came after observing this:
Students don’t know what job to pursue after graduation.
Students don’t know what classes to choose at Fall.
Students don’t like some of the courses they are attending.
Solution: There is a need to catch this feedback and show them that the class has been highly suggested by professionals.
How it works?
Students will be displayed classes that match their profile and like it or not. Professionals will be displayed classes that match their profile and like it or not, or review it. This app will help connect professionals and students.”
Data Dreamer – “Our app surrounds the user with any data in an immersive environment. We call it data immersion rather than data visualization. With the ability to walk around the data charts and interact with them, an entirely new way of learning from data can be created that is far more intuitive and meaningful. Imagine being able to literally walk through the history of any company and receive relevant information right on your VR headset like news and government rulings pertaining to an industry. Imagine being able to rescale charts with pinch and zoom hand movements, mixing categories by dragging around different data sets, and querying for trends all in a visual environment. Our dream is to take data visualization to new heights by making it easy to use and more informative than ever.”
SubIt – “Approximately 1,000,000 people in the United States over the age of five are functionally deaf. Imagine having an application that could augment their reality, giving them the ability to attend talks and tours without a supplemental guide book. Our assistive application, Subit, provides real-time captioning for your life. With a simple tap, you’ll see exactly what a speaker just said in the language of your choosing.”
Who Is Available – “Wondering who is available to play with you at a certain time? In my free time my favorite thing to do is to play with my friends. However, every time I want to play with my friend, my Dad often needed to make multiple phone calls and emails back and forth. This friend may not be available. He was out of town, at a sport event, or traveling for a while. Then he called another friend’s parents. This makes it time consuming for my Dad to find a friend to play with me. Our team develops an app called “Are you available” that is right for you and your family. Our app will allow you to quickly find out information about your friends’ availability to play. This will allow you to quickly browse all the friends who are available. Furthermore, our app will also create a request to play with friends available. You can also publish your own schedule so others can see your availability for play. Our app will minimize time needed for scheduling and maximize your fun for playing.”
Battle of Hoth – “Multi-player game using Samsung Gear VR to immerse the player at the battle of Hoth.”
AT&T Developer Program
NAME YOUR COMMUNITY CHOICE APP IN THE COMMENT SECTION. THE WINNING COMMUNITY CHOICE APP WILL RECEIVE $250 IN GIFT CARDS!