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SomaJam Hackathon – Unlocking the Power of Body-Centric XR Design!

August 14-18

SomaFest´s hackathon challenges media artists, XR creators, and game developers to embark- on a groundbreaking journey that merges technology, art, and the boundless potential of the human body. The five-days workshop is dedicated to exploring how XR can harness the body´s capacity as a holistic entity of expression and learning.

As part of the SomaFest XR festival that will take place August 14-21, SomaJam dives deep into the expressive, receptive, and information-processing capabilities of the human body and explores ways how XR technology and design can foster new ways how we can engage, communicate with each other and understand us and the world around us in the future.

Participants of the hackathon will work in teams to create prototypes that will become part of the SomaExpo on August 19 and 20. The results of the hackathon will provide festival audiences with a glimpse of how a body-based design approach will put the user’s immersive experience on a whole new level.

Mission Statement
A majority of today´s XR applications in entertainment, education, and business are based on a visually-oriented approach, that follows established design paradigms adapted from film, screen-based games and communication tools like Chatrooms. While those applications may provide users with opportunities for physical interaction and spatial illusion, the player-body is oftentimes reduced to a mere facilitator for enhanced visual exploration and cognitive knowledge gain.

The human body, however, can make sense of a wide range of sensory input. It can process and integrate cognitive knowledge, train and build muscle memory. It can, by neuroception, sense subtle changes in our environment, and intuitively understand and create hormonal, emotional responses and behavior. It´s expressive capacity, on the other hand, ranges from the ability to communicate with others to the accumulation and release of energy.

By putting the body first in XR design, we will explore the untapped design opportunities and experiment with new design paradigms for a new generation of immersive XR.

Applications for this year’s hackathon are closed.