Over the weekend of Cinco de Mayo 2017, the Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT, hosted its first Virtual Reality Hackathon at its main building in downtown Stamford. Three teams of dedicated creatives worked from Friday night to Sunday afternoon to create an array of VR experiences and hone their tech skills.
Opening night of the hackathon featured brief addresses by Matthew Worwood (Digital Media & Design Program at UConn Stamford), Rod Recker (CTO of the Glimpse Group in NYC), and Katherine Kern (Comradity, a co-working space in Stamford) about the commercial and cultural potential of virtual reality.
The general public was invited to opening night, and to a pair of informational VR talks on Saturday morning. Roland Dubois, winner of the first NYC VR Hackathon in 2016, gave an especially in-depth presentation on how to devise virtual reality experiences online.
All three hacker teams presented their projects on Sunday afternoon. Two teams made use of the HTC Vive virtual reality system that the Ferguson Library features in its Wonder Lab. Oneput the user behind the wheel of a virtual car and taught the use of road signs, while the other was a karoake experience in which the user sang the lyrics that hovered in front of her while lights and a disco ball glittered. The third project, based in Web VR, was set in an office where strange sights kept appearing from windows and behind the walls of cubicles.
Hugh Seaton, head of Aquinas Training and the emcee for the hackathon, deemed it a success: “From a diversity of skills perspective and how much people learned, this was one of the best I’ve been involved with!”
The Ferguson Library plans to host other tech events in the near future and serve as a hub for the business and innovation communities of the Stamford area.
Blog written by Jason Wilkins, Ferguson Library