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An Oculus Rift Powered VR Hackathon

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Oculus donated Rift headsets to this student hackathon and also got a visit from Brendan Iribe to create the next generation of VR learning.

Major League Hacking (MLH) who runs the official student hackathon league, kicked off a 36-hour hackathon April 8-10 at the University of Maryland, College Park for a marathon of creative coding.

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One pleasant surprise for students over the weekend was the special contribution of Oculus Rift headsets to help support the hackathon. Brendan Iribe, CEO and co-founder of Oculus, also stuck around over the weekend, speaking in front of students to share more about his partnership with MLH and belief in giving students the opportunity to learn through VR technology.

Freshmen at UMD showing off their hack to Brendan Iribe of Oculus.

Freshmen at UMD showing off their hack to Brendan Iribe of Oculus.

Oculus has partnered with MLH for almost two years, with the company providing Rift development kits (DK2) to over 250 hackathons for high school and college students across 15 countries in the past. MLH will be receiving a full shipment of Rifts in August, which should be around the date the scarce headsets become available from backorder. Students will have access to Rifts through the MLH Hardware Lab, which contains the latest devices including Alienware computers for attendees to try out at hackathons.

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“It’s important to us that our students have access to the latest and greatest technology to learn on, beyond the limited tools they’re seeing in the classroom,” said Mike Swift, co-founder and CEO of Major League Hacking. “This partnership with Oculus will help us empower the next generation of tech visionaries, and I’m beyond excited to see how these students will transform the world with VR.”

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The winning project of the hackathon made use of the Rift CV1 headset to create a therapeutic VR game to diagnose and treat patients with ADHD. The game called BumbleAidr, focuses on concentration with a user pressing a button when an item is out of place while they are met with both visual and aural distractions.

Iribe

Iribe reviewing the Brendan Iribe Center for ants 😉

Iribe, an alumnus of UMD, made headlines in late 2014 when he made a $31 million donation to the school to build the new Computer Science and Innovation center at UMD, which includes a dedicated space for hackers and you can likely bet, a VR lab. The groundbreaking for the Brendan Iribe Center will occur April 30.

Image Credit: Bitcamp

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of VRScout.

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