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WebVR Hackathon Launches November, Partners Include Google, Microsoft & Mozilla

Next month Virtuleap is organising the WebVR Hackathon, an online 90-day event that features technology and launch partners such as Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, VRBASE, StartupAmsterdam and more.

Student groups from universities such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT and the ETC at Carnegie Mellon have confirmed their participation alongside VR First’s academic network and Sketchfab’s 3D design community.

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Participating teams will be tasked with developing concepts in virtual reality (VR) completely in WebVR, the Javascript API that runs straight out of a web browser. The WebVR engine makes frameworks like Mozilla’s AFrame – an open source library that doesn’t require knowledge of WebGL – accessible to developers and designers without any prior experience in building VR content.

“We’re on a mission to push WebVR as the priority platform for the whole industry,” says Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh, co-founder at Virtuleap and the co-organizer of the global hackathon. “It’s platform agnostic, democratic, immediately accessible, and positioned where there is already an entire universe of traffic: the web.

“While games and entertainment content are allowed, extra brownie points go to teams that stretch their imaginations beyond just fun experiences. We want them to think about tools, tutorials, and products, and not focus on the easier gimmicky experiences that are fleeting, convert to nothing, or have no lasting impact.”

The platform will go live on 1st November via virtuleap.com. Submission’s will be accepted from 15th, November 2016 to 1st, February 2017, covering nine content categories, these include education, engineering, and healthcare. Approved submissions will then be showcased on the platform, with the winners selected through a voting mechanism, then by a panel of industry veterans.

There are a range of prizes in store, which include €30K cash and a slot in the first VR accelerator in Europe, VRBASE, and a 3-month internship program at VR studio Force Field VR. The prizes are inclusive of travel and living expenses for winners while they stay in the Netherlands.

Daniel Doornink, Founder and CEO at the VRBASE said in a statement: “We think WebVR can play a big role in the search of true value adding VR/AR software, because of its ease of use and often open-source character, which in turn enables knowledge sharing.”

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