USC VR Hackathon Open to International Participants

    The University of Southern California (USC) Center for Body Computing (CBC) will be holding its second annual virtual reality (VR) hackathon event later this year, with entrants invited from around the world to try their hand at winning the $10,000 USD grant.

    The theme for the VR hackathon is ‘Medical Empathy Machine’, with developers having to showcase the potential of VR to change medicine and patient experience through emotion, compassion and empathy.

    Using the HTC Vive platform entrants are challenged to take today’s VR uses for training, diagnosing and treating medical conditions that next step. They’ll need to explore the use of VR to cultivate empathy for the patient experience and provide education and information for family caregivers of loved ones with chronic conditions and other health issues.

    Sponsored for the second year by the USC Institute of Creative Technologies (ICT) and IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), competitors have until 12th September to submit their entries at the USC VR Hackathon portal. After which an expert panel of judges will select three finalists who will then present live to the judges on Thursday 22nd September 22nd at USC.

    The winner will be awarded a $10,000 grant to continue development of the product. They will also need to present the winning concept at the 10th Annual USC Global Center for Body Computing Conference held on 23rd September 2016.

    “Our first VR Hackathon last year brought out some amazing talent that showcased the power of engaging developers into thinking about empowering patients in their own health story through immersive experiences,” said Leslie Saxon, MD, founder and executive director of the USC Center for Body Computing. “This year we’re taking the competition to a whole new level to highlight how the experiential aspect of VR actually takes compassion and turns it into empathy – I can’t wait to see what the hackers come up with this year.”

    When the results are announced VRFocus will report back.