(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

Innovation from the garage

Apple, Google or Amazon – the story of these three tech companies began in a garage. So that’s where the ideas that can change the world are born. That’s why there were real innovations to be discovered at the Places _ VR Festival in the underground car park of the science park.

Especially in research and at universities, the potential of these technologies is developing rapidly in terms of extended reality. This is where the pulse of the times beats when it comes to XR. For the presentation of the DIVR Science Award, the German Institute for Virtual Reality (DIVR) in cooperation and the Places _ VR Festival are annually looking for the most innovative applications and concepts of German universities.

20 teams from all over Germany were nominated for the DIVR Science Award. Of these, 14 universities made their way to Gelsenkirchen and presented their ideas and projects during the festival days in the underground car park of the Science Park. The award ceremony took place on the Saturday of the festival in the Places _ Studio with Markus Rall (DIVR). Rall, who himself is the founder of a VR company and chairman of the DIVR, is pleased to make scientific achievements in the field of AR and VR visible with the award and to be able to honour them.

The jury around Markus Rall, Rahel Demant, Tim Mittelstaedt, Lukas Best and Susanne Ahmadseresht has awarded three prizes in the categories Best Tech Best Concept and Best Impact in 2020.

Here are the winners of the DIVR Science Award 2020

Best Tech

The prize in the category Best Tech goes to the VR Paint Shop of the Chair for Complex Multimedia Application Architectures at the University of Potsdam. With the HandLeVR project, the team is investigating the use and technical design of a virtual reality paint shop as a training tool in professional vehicle painting training. The jury is convinced and praises the open source approach of the developers from Potsdam, who work in close cooperation with many partners from practice.

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

Best Concept

This category honors the most creative approach and use of extended reality. The team from the University of Applied Sciences Neu-Ulm around Barbara Dannenmann convinced the jury with a virtual negotiation training and the combination of AI and VR. The application “Virtual Negotiation Training – Beat the Bot” is about a negotiation training element for blended learning. The aim of the application is to experience a negotiation situation in the form of a pitch and to learn the optimal negotiation style in a highly competitive sales negotiation for capital goods.

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

Best Impact

The project with the greatest potential for social impact is awarded in the category Best Impact. The prize goes to Tim Waldron, student at the FH Kiel. He wins with his project VR Eye Tracking in Parkinson Research. The jury around Markus Rall agrees: “The impact of the prototype on society can be enormous.  The VR application and the Virtual Reality Eye Tracking should help to analyze eye movement, which is used in neurogeriatric Parkinson research.

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

(c) Places _ VR Festival / Medienmalocher, Ravi Sejk

As a prize in addition to the coveted trophy, the Volksbank Ruhr-Mitte provided a technology and gadget set for all winning teams.

These were the winners of the DIVR Science Award 2020. By the way: In 2021, the DIVR Science Award will also be presented at the Places _ VR Festival – further information will of course follow on our website and in our social media channels.

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