The Places _ VR Festival 2021 is over!

From 16 – 18 September 2021, Germany’s #1 festival for virtual reality took place once again around Bochumer Straße in Gelsenkirchen. For three days it was all about testing, learning, discovering, exchanging and networking. All in extraordinary locations and with a festival atmosphere – that’s the Places _ VR Festival! Click here for our review:

Our Winners 2021

DIVR Science Award - best concept

DIVR Science Award - best concept

HTW Berlin - paradigm shift

In the application, which was presented by Maria Bürger from HTW Berlin, one enters into dialogue with a virtual voice assistant. In the immersive experience, it becomes clearer to the user over time how artificial intelligences react to human input and how we ourselves can be manipulated by artificial intelligence. From the jury's point of view, it was remarkable how, especially after the experience, users were lastingly impressed and the application actually leads to a better understanding of AI technology.

DIVR Science Award - best impact

DIVR Science Award - best impact

TU Dortmund | Ruhr-Uni Bochum | Uni Duisburg-Essen - Virtual Reality Moves

The application "Virtual Reality Moves" uses VR to bring people with and without disabilities together and thus overcome barriers. In this project, student teachers from the fields of special education, sports science and computer science worked together under the direction of Dr. Caterina Schäfer on research projects that resulted in the actual application. Here, the jury praised the interdisciplinary approach, which raises the topic of learning and cooperation in the field of special education to a new conceptual level.

DIVR Science Award - best tech

DIVR Science Award - best tech

Hochschule Esslingen - MRiLS

MRiLS stands for "Mixed Reality in the Loop Simulation" and is a combination of classic industrial simulation, browser-based AR/VR application and the possibility of bringing digital twins into VR. The simulation from Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, represented by Marc Schniere and team, is in that sense a classic Industry 4.0. application that has both a research approach and a very practical benefit for companies. The jury highlighted the device independence thanks to the browser-based software.

Startup Pitch Gewinner

Startup Pitch Gewinner

With its 3D archive service, Digifactura is particularly exciting for museums and cultural institutions. The possibility of a spatial representation of art objects as well as a digital VR exhibition, in combination with the very easily scalable business model, convinced the jury!

Hackathon Gewinner - bester Prototyp

Hackathon Gewinner - bester Prototyp

RVSecure - or in other words Are We Secure? The solution is VR - We Are! The team's prototype puts you in a typical office workplace full of security and privacy gaps. From the password on the mail IT to scam emails in the inbox to the mobile phone number on the whiteboard, the application simulates the security risks of an office job. The task is to find and eliminate all dangers before leaving the room. The jury praised the great practical relevance and easy adaptability for everyday office life.

Team RVSecure: Bernd Adamczyk, Sebastian Gerhaupt, Alexandra Tamayo, Finn Lichtenberg & Ella Link

Hackathon Winner - Audience Award

Hackathon Winner - Audience Award

In its prototype, the team has attempted to convey the complex topic of "blogchain" in a playful way. Instead of a sober description, you become a part of the decentralised blockchain network. The audience was convinced by the team's pitch and elevated Team Blogchaine to the podium.

Team: Christian Schulz, Neufal Dahouli, Richard Schut, Daniel Brück & Sonja Unger

Hackathon Gewinner - beste Idee

Hackathon Gewinner - beste Idee

How can I verify my identity in virtual reality and thus efficiently protect certain closed areas in the virtual world from unauthorised access? For this purpose, the GestureID team transferred the classic gesture decryption known from mobile phones into three-dimensional space and built a 3x3x3 verification grid from the 3x3 grid. The jury was particularly impressed by the smart use of the three-dimensional space for more safety and more comfort at the same time.

Team GestureID: Robin Kalkowski, Mirko Buchholz, Mohamad Albikai & Imad El Khechen


What the Places _ Community says about the festival:

  • “VR in Germany needs to evolve. The industry is growing and changing faster than any other. With VR slowly reaching mainstream adoption and AR maturing we cannot allow european countries like germany to fall behind.”

    Vladimir Ilic
    Vladimir Ilic vrhuman
  • "With our contribution to Places 2018, we felt that our VR project and the team were in the right place. The uniqueness of the event through the effective positioning in a suitable location brought added value from our perspective."

    Prof. Chris Wickenden
    Prof. Chris Wickenden Founder of skip Institut für angewandte digitale Visualisierung
  • "These contacts that develop are worth their weight in gold and the resulting development of a network was and still is essential to grow as a company."

    Marc Flören
    Marc Flören Co-Founder & Managing Partner von pointreef
  • "The Ruhr Area is an exciting region for start-ups. The industrial heart of Germany still beats here - come and make the heart beat faster!"

    Oliver Weimann
    Oliver Weimann Managing Director of ruhr:HUB
  • "Virtual Reality offers an incredible number of possibilities, especially in the field of museums and culture. Especially when it comes to knowledge transfer, a VR experience simply stays longer in the memory and thus offers real added value. We are happy that there is a Places Festival again this year, because we can present our applications to many people here."

    Lukas Kuhlendahl
    Lukas Kuhlendahl Co-founder of Weltenweberei
  • "The creative industry repeatedly offers pioneering solutions for society, business and politics - this is nothing new, and yet it cannot be emphasized often enough and made visible with particularly successful examples: Like with the places_ Virtual Reality Festival. Here it becomes clear, what positive effects creative ideas and actors, as well as innovative technologies can have on a district, even a whole city, and thus in the long run also on the economic development of a region."

    Claudia Jericho
    Claudia Jericho managing director of Creative NRW
  • "When a colleague drew my attention to the Places _VR Festival, I thought the event was a great opportunity to develop a VR project together with students from the Faculty of Architecture at Bochum University of Applied Sciences. I approached the event with relatively low expectations and saw it as a public platform for the students to present their projects. All the more I was pleasantly surprised when a multitude of interesting networking and cooperation opportunities arose during the festival days."

    Waldemar Jenek
    Waldemar Jenek Lecturer - University of Applied Sciences Bochum / Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Australia
  • The desire to create a new medium together was also evident in the Creative _ Places residency, where we lived, worked and finally developed an exhibition together for a week. Versatile initiatives like Places are, in my opinion, extremely important for the community and for the further development of XR itself. I am happy about the opportunities and projects that have arisen and will arise from the contacts of the Places and I am especially looking forward to the 2020 festival!

    Farina Hamann
    Farina Hamann Bremersiv Community & Mitarbeiterin von NextReality Hamburg
  • "Places 2020 was my second and maybe even my best. Not necessarily because our team won a category but because it felt like coming "home". That sounds a bit corny, but the feeling of coming back to the location, seeing familiar faces again and experiencing how the whole festival has developed and knowing that you were and are a small part of it, was a great experience for me personally. I will be back in 2021 and look forward to seeing new projects, collecting new ideas and meeting people who share the same passion. Of course, I'm also looking forward to the hackathon again and the 24 hours of sleep deprivation, the amounts of wakefulness you'll get into and the spontaneous ideas you'll still have at 5am and the stress of getting them in by noon."

    Daniel Brück
    Daniel Brück Hackathon participants since 2018
  • "After receiving the award last year, we were invited to MEDICA by Andreas Pinkwart and were able to present ourselves to an international audience. It was also exciting to get to know the other innovators in the field of VR."

    Daniela Schumacher
    Daniela Schumacher Winner of the Startup Pitch 2020
  • "The DIVR Science Award was a really great event because there were many exciting projects. It's really worth coming along!"

    Tim Waldron
    Tim Waldron Gewinner des DIVR Sicence Award 2020
  • "The Places _ VR Festival 2020 was a highlight for me last year. Above all, it was one of the only events that took place in-person. I really enjoyed talking to and hopefully inspiring so many young people interested in XR. It also felt like a family reunion, meeting and getting to know so many creatives, artists and entrepreneurs from the XR scene. I'm looking forward to the family reunion again this year to see what's been happening with most of them and to see what projects have come out of the last edition."

    Sergiu Ardelean
    Sergiu Ardelean Co-founder & CEO von Artivive

The Places _ VR Festival: The meeting place for the German virtual reality scene!

Virtual _ Update

Keep up to date on what the makers of the Places _ VR Festival are planning next and get all the info on events and projects around XR in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf.


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