Meta Hackathon This Month Challenges Devs to Use Its Latest XR Tools for $700,000 in Prizes – Road to VR

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    Meta (formerly Facebook) is offering up $700,000 in cash prizes this month in an XR hackathon aimed at developers and creators from all over the world. The objective: choose between Spark AR and Presence Platform and build something cool and useful.

    Starting on November 9th and ending on November 22nd, Meta is challenging developers to create something with either of its latest XR tools, Spark AR or mixed reality Presence Platform.

    Presence Platform is a suite of new capabilities that will enable developers to build more immersive mixed-reality experiences, like Dominik Hackl’s Magic Keys prototype which teaches you piano by visually serving up notes like a rhythm game.

    This category is undoubtedly a bid to get developers interested in building novel usecases for the company’s upcoming Project Cambria mixed reality headset, which will put a heavy focus on hand tracking and passthrough AR interactions in addition to VR.

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    On the purely AR end of the spectrum, Spark AR’s toolset was initially all about getting devs to create AR face filters for mobile, but in the coming age of Meta’s Project Nazare AR glasses, it’s steadily expanding with more features.

    Image courtesy Meta

    Spark AR will soon support geo-mapped experiences for public spaces for location-based AR experiences, which offer a trove of things like Pokémon Go-style games, treasure hunts, public AR art installations, etc.

    Meta says it’s “working toward fully-featured AR glasses” and hopes the new capabilities of Spark AR will “illuminate the path to AR glasses,” so funny face filters probably won’t cut it.

    According to the XR Hackathon rules, teams will be judged on: