Yale's Center for Collaborative Arts & Media First Annual Mixed-Reality Hackathon

February 22, 2018

The weekend of February 9 and 10, over 60 Yale students, faculty, and staff assembled at Yale’s Center for Collaborative Arts & Media for the first annual Mixed-Reality Hackathon. Teams utilized virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies to explore communication challenges related to global climate change.

The team challenges centered around finding ways to create an engaging VR/AR experience using the basic bar charts and pie graphs accompanying the climate change data sets. Second place winners Max Model and Johan Todi built an experience aimed at a school-age audience. In a simple cartoon-like environment the ‘player’ viewed five tall structures that proportionally matches the top five emitters of greenhouse gas. Proportionally sized green houses (signifying ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions) could be grabbed and thrown around the space to create a playful environment. The first-place team placed the viewer inside a water tower, with the challenge of manipulating objects representing climate change factors to block the incoming flow of water, to avoid drowning. All of the teams were successful in learning how to use new technology, such as the Microsoft Hololens AR headset and the Unity game engine, to create immersive experiences.

In addition to the CCAM, Yale groups lending expertise for the event include the Yale Center for Climate Change Communications, Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Data-driven Yale, Information Technology Services, and the TSAI Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. Corporate sponsors included the Microsoft Hololens/Mixed Reality team, World Resources Institute, Spheregen, Connection.com, and Datavized.com.

For more information please visit http://climatevr.yale.edu

Hackathon Winners:

  • 1st Place: Tevin Mickens, Jack Wesson, Daniela Schulman, Nate May, Bobby Berry
  • 2nd Place: Max Model, Johan Todi
  • 3rd Place: Wlad Woyno, Michael Costagliola