From a task to a VR/AR prototype in just 24 hours – in interdisciplinary teams of designers, coders and experts from many other fields. That is the Places _ Hackathon. We at the Places _ VR Festival believe that the technologies of Extended Reality (VR, AR, MR) are particularly suitable for discussing solutions to particular challenges facing our society, for bringing visions to life and for planning the future. At the Places _ Hackathon, participants have 24 hours to develop and prototype a VR/AR/MR application that will help to master the challenges of our time a little better.

The Places _ Hackathon showcases the full innovative power of Extended Reality!


  • Presentation of the challenges, teambuilding & set-up of the workstations.
  • Start of Coding

24 hours of coding

  • End of Coding and subsequent jury tour
  • Presentation at the Festival
  • Centre and award ceremony
  • A cosy evening on the festival grounds

Topic 2021

How can VR, AR & Co make the digital world safer?

How can VR, AR & Co make the digital world more secure?
Whether it’s hacker attacks, espionage or security gaps – problems around the topic of IT and data security occupy corporations and start-ups, municipalities and ministries. During the 24 hours of this year’s Places _ Hackathon, the teams will therefore deal with IT security challenges. How can IT infrastructures be better visualised? How can people be better trained in the safe use of computers and servers? What risks does VR technology itself actually pose?

Our Hackathon Winnerteams 2021

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

Watch it again now: The Hackathon award ceremony in re-live video

Our theme sponsors 2021

The IT security company with offices in the middle of the Places Festival site is working on smart authentication solutions without a password – among other things for smarter administration.

With forgery-proof certificates based on blockchain, TrustCerts contributes to a more secure digital data exchange.

How do I sensitise my company’s employees to IT security issues? Aware7 has the answer to this question and offers penetration tests and live hacking shows, among other things.


Farina Hamann

Farina Hamann is an interaction designer and VR artist from Bremen. She works at nextReality.Hamburg e.V., an association that supports and networks companies, start-ups and universities working with VR and AR. As founder of the Bremen XR community BREMERSIV and co-organiser of the Germany-wide VR Meetup Virtual Germany, she continues to drive the networking of the VR scene throughout Germany.

Wolfgang Jung

Wolfgang Jung is co-managing director of the Science Park Gelsenkirchen. The physicist, who studied in Heidelberg, has been managing the company since 2017. Before that, he was deputy managing director of the Science Park and responsible for the “Future Energies” project.

Norbert Pohlmann

Norbert Pohlmann is Professor of Cybersecurity and Head of the Institute for Internet Security – if(is) at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen as well as Chairman of the Board of the German IT Security Association – TeleTrusT and on the Board of the Internet Association – eco.

The Places VR _ Hackathon 2021 is supported by:


Sparkasse Gelsenkirchen supports the Hackathon _ 2021 by sponsoring the prize money for the best prototype. (2500€)


The prize for the best idea is provided by the IHK Nord Westfalen. (1000€)


Ceconomy sponsors the audience award at the Hackathon _ 2021. (500€)