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Hackcess Reality - VR 4 Good

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Rise Manchester

231 Deansgate

Manchester

M3 4EN

United Kingdom

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Description

HackcessReality aims to bring together interdisciplinary minds to explore how Virtual Reality technology can be used for social good.

RIse, Barclays and experts from our partners are coming together for two days in Manchester to address accessibility and inclusion.

A very interesting perspective

The World health organisation definition of Disability is “a mismatch in interaction between the features of a person’s body and the features of the environment in which they live”. Overcoming the difficulties faced by people with disabilities requires interventions to remove environmental and social barriers.

So in essence the word disabled as most people understand it is incorrect. In reality a more accurate description would be, ‘an individual who hasn’t been properly considered in a design process’.

By considering potential barriers encountered by people that require more bespoke personalisation and designing products, services, or buildings that are truly flexible it could almost be possible to remove the word disabled from our vocabulary.

How cool is that!


The Problem

So what does a VR hackathon have to do with any of this? One of the biggest challenges encountered in the Accessibility world is getting people to understand the barriers faced by those with disabilities. Most people through no fault of their own are simply not aware of the impact their decisions and actions can have on others. This can cover small things such as petting a guide dog without asking, standing over someone in a wheel chair, right through to building an app or a website that doesn’t consider how someone with an impairment would use it.


The Challenge

What we aim to create, is an immersive experience that will help give users a brief insight of what it is like to have a disability and how this can impact everyday interactions. The hope is that by triggering an emotional response, users will be more likely to champion an inclusive way of thinking in the future.

We believe that with the right VR experience, we can deepen empathy and understanding of designers and architects creating products and premises. There’s a ton of benefits that VR can bring to people with disabilities too which we’re only starting to scratch the surface of.

We aim to take a collaborative approach with this Hackathon rather than a competitive one. The aim of the project will be to harness your skills and expertise to enable and encourage innovation and shared ideas to achieve an outcome for ‘Social Good’! By bringing together a fully resourced and diverse team in once place, we hope to create an environment that will enable the delivery of an end to end solution. The output of which will made available in an open source manner for the benefit of all.



Technology & Support

We want our event to be as inclusive as possible. Don’t worry if you have never encountered VR in your career before: chances are that your personal experience in another field, be it game design, photography or something business related will give you all the tools you will need to cooperate with other enthusiastic participants to create a unique experience. If you are familiar with VR you will be happy to know that we will be working with some really interesting pieces of technology: HTC Vive for the full room-scale tracking experience and Samsung Gear VR for mobile – all powered by the graphics engine of your choice.

Harvey ‘theStoneFox’ Ball will be with us to support with his VRTK (Virtual Reality Tool Kit) so that even if you never created anything in VR before, with a little help you will be able to put together blocks in a drag-n-drop way and build a fantastic prototype from scratch!

Barclays Creative team will be providing a series of digital assets to use, and several other artists taking part to the hackathon will be covering any gap with their mad skills.


The Event:

Launch: 7th September – 18:00 – 21:00

Challenges launch, teams assemble, VR demos, partner presentations and networking

Hackathon: 8th September – 09:00 – 17:00

The hack, a day of creativity and building, concluding with pitches and judging

You are also welcome to join us for a drink or two after the hack :-)


Next Steps:

We will be in touch to request some additional information and to let you know shortly if your application has been successful.

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Date and Time

Location

Rise Manchester

231 Deansgate

Manchester

M3 4EN

United Kingdom

View Map

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