Programmers to hack virtual reality headsets at hackathon

Hacksmiths, Goldsmiths' Hacking society. Pic: Hacksmiths

Hacksmiths, Goldsmiths’ Hacking society. Pic: Hacksmiths

Programmers will try to hack virtual reality headsets and motion sensors this weekend at the borough’s first major hackathon.

A hackathon is an event where computer programmers collaborate intensively to develop new types of software.

Anvil Hack, organised by student society Hacksmiths at Goldsmiths University, is supported by Major League Hacking (MLH), the “official student hackathon league.” The event is expected to bring together over 100 student hacking enthusiasts to the university on March 21.

Hacksmiths, was founded by Hugh Rawlinson and Nevo Segal in September last year. They are both students at Goldsmiths and Rawlinson, now a third year music computing student, attended his first Hackathon the day he moved into the university’s halls of residence.

Rawlinson said: “A lot of Hackathons are focused on business and making startup businesses in the technology sector, but Goldsmiths has a reputation as [being] a really creative university, with courses like Music Computing, Creative Computing, [and] Digital Arts Computing.”

Rawlinson said Anvil Hack is being pushed in a direction not usually taken by hackathons, and it is being geared towards a more “Goldsmiths” audience, focusing more on the artistic, creative and musical aspects of computing.

As well as being officially sponsored by MLH, Hacksmiths has partnered with a number of tech companies, like smart watch creator Pebble and lightweight iBeacon producer Estimote, both of whom will be sending over some exciting products for attendees to try their hand at hacking.

Not only will MLH send a representative, Kurt Lee, but they will also be providing a host of equipment for attendees to use in their hacks, including Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets and Leap Motion interfaces, which use infrared LEDs and cameras to allow precise gesture control of computer programs.

“This kind of technology will be great for the kind of hackathon that we’re doing with music, creativity, [and] art”, said Rawlinson.

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