Fox Innovation Lab promotes learning and advancement at Creating Reality Hackathon

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Fox Innovation Lab sponsors 85 students in support of advancing AR/VR in home entertainment

Beth is a Fox Home Entertainment communications intern

The Fox Innovation Lab recently sponsored 85 college students in the Creating Reality Hackathon held at the University of Southern California. The goal was to explore the limits of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in entertainment and other industries by bringing together bright minds to build creative and original applications. The competition consisted of 20 workshops and welcomed more than 400 participants who were tasked with creating original AR and VR apps. The winning teams each took home a $5,000 scholarship prize.

This is the third VR/AR hackathon the Fox Innovation Lab has sponsored; the previous two were held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass. “The Fox Innovation Lab aims to drive the advancement of groundbreaking technology in home entertainment, including applications of AR and VR to provide consumers with new experiences that they will enjoy,” said Danny Kaye, EVP, 20th Century Fox and Managing Director of the Fox Innovation Lab. “We support the Creating Reality Hackathon, which encourages innovation and creates opportunities for content creators of all kinds.”

Tai Chi VR, the winning app in the VR category, created an experience that allows users to learn Tai Chi in a virtual reality environment. Synthesis, the winners of the AR category, created an AR experience that allows users to explore how sound and taste can be associated with the colors and textures around you.

Among the judges was Marta Ordeig, the founder of Garage Stories, an open lab for content creators to explore new technologies including VR, AR and AI. Marta expressed the importance of working well with others in order to create something that will ultimately benefit society. “It’s not about you developing your idea,” she said. “It’s about you meeting people and being open to ideas you may have never had before.”

According to Marta, what separated this winning teams from the competition was not just the idea and execution of the apps, but also how the groups were “in sync and supportive of one another. They put a lot of thought into everything…they built everything from scratch. It was not just one single thing that made them stand out, it was a combination of many things.”

Students, designers, developers and artists from all over the world are encouraged to apply to participate in the Creating Reality Hackathon. Of the 2,000 applicants, the 400 selected participants split themselves into teams consisting of five people or fewer who developed their original ideas. The Hackathon not only created an amazing networking opportunity for participants but also a chance to test their limits and put forward their best efforts to create an experience they believe can benefit society.

“Hackathons are a great way to connect with the academic community and keep abreast of emerging technology trends among younger generations,” said Clayton Biele, Director of the Fox Innovation Lab. “We have consistently uncovered insights resulting in the exploration of new innovative concepts, which helps drive ideation for the Fox Innovation Lab.”

For more information, visit the Creating Reality Hackathon website. Read more about the winners at this year’s Hackathon