THE MISSION: TO CREATE INNOVATIVE MIND & BODY EXPERIENCES FOR THE HTC VIVE
The first annual Mind & Body Hackathon presented by Quest Nutrition and HTC Vive drew over 50 participants for a 48-hour marathon session of learning, coding, and designing. Participants created virtual reality experiences to help users live a better lifestyle. The 3-day event had the teams compete for a grand prize valued at $10,000.
Final experiences ranged from the serene to incredibly active. One team developed Kanjo, a zen garden where raking the virtual ground helped to enforce a calm mind. Another team created a zombie apocalypse environment where pedaling faster on the stationary bike “Virzoom” attracted more zombies — in turn making the game harder – and thereby elevating the workout. Just like in a real zombie outbreak!
The winning application beautifully connected the virtual world with a zen exercise experience. VRKout Chi placed the user in a peaceful atmosphere and helped them perform increasingly difficult tai chi positions with the use of the Vive’s motion tracking controllers. VRKout players needed to place and hold their bodies in specific positions as the virtual instructor guided them through various breathing exercises.
The competition’s judges represented various backgrounds within the gaming and virtual reality sphere: Malia Probst, Director of Brand Strategy for VRScout, Alexander Knoll, Co-Owner/Creative Director at Stress Level Zero creators of the hit VR game Hover Junkers, Kent Bye, Host of the Voices of VR podcast, Steven Arhancet, CEO of Team Liquid, and Nick Robinson, CMO of Quest Nutrition. The teams were judged based on four criteria — user experience, innovation, impact/market potential and the most important thing…fun!
Each member of the winning team received an HTC Vive and a Vive-optimized AMD PC. Winning team member, Marty Ronquillo, described the difficulty and excitement of working on a completely new platform in a brand new medium. “ [It was] very interesting learning about the new technology, it was a great experience for us,” he said.
Overall, the VR Hackathon saw ten unique creations come to life in a short period of time. “It’s obviously challenging to work with new technology,” said Trevor Stavropoulos from Team 9, “in the end it came together pretty well. I was pleased with what we could create. Looking forward to another Hackathon!” We couldn’t agree more, Trevor.
Thank you to the event sponsors: HTC, Quest Nutrition, Virzoom, AMD, and Cyberpower PC