5G-enabled Virtual Reality won the prize in the SHIFT hackathon in Finland

5G VR.

The City of Turku and the telecom company Elisa jointly organized a 5G hackathon at the SHIFT Business Festival held on 29–30 August 2019 in Turku, Finland. The hackathon challenged teams to create and develop new 5G-enabled solutions for preventing social exclusion.

The winner of the SHIFT Elisa 5G hackathon was Choose Your Future, a Turku-based start-up company, which launched an online service, Know Your Hoods, in summer 2019. The team of four had six hours to construct a virtual reality environment that will assist individuals in learning about various services, while also making it easier to use the services and alleviating the stress associated with new things. As tools, the team was provided with a 360 video camera, the 360Editor publishing platform developed by 360Mediahouse and Elisa’s 5G network.

“We were surprised to see how easily and rapidly we could create a Virtual Reality environment using the 360Editor. The same concept could be used, for example, for the purposes of guiding young people who are at risk of social exclusion to new hobbies or activities,” says CEO Susanna Lahtinen, who is in charge of the Know Your Hoods service.

“It was great to see that our 360Editor worked so well with the 5G network and facilitated the creation of a virtual reality for the given purpose. The winning team excelled in fully utilizing the various features of the platform and the network,” says CEO Henrik Helin of 360Mediahouse.

360Mediahouse launched the 360Editor tool on the market in March 2019 as a web-based VR tool that enables businesses and organizations to independently create and share virtual reality contents. Using the 360Editor, it is possible to edit 360 video footage and other text, visual or audio material in order to create an immersive VR environment. The 360Editor is available as a cloud-based service and the VR contents are shared for viewing with VR goggles.

A total of eight start-up companies participated in the hackathon challenge, and three were selected as finalists. The winner was awarded a prize of 10,000 euro. The jury wanted to award the prize for an innovative solution that makes use of the advantages of the 5G and VR technologies and can also be rolled out without delay.

The City of Turku and Elisa are involved in a three-year partnership project that aims at utilizing 5G technology for the purposes of, for example, traffic, mobility and the prevention of social exclusion.

“Initial tests are already underway, and the hackathon challenge was a good example of how we can develop new 5G services jointly with the City of Turku and start-ups,” comments Juha Laukkanen, Regional Director at Elisa.

SHIFT Business Festival is an international business and technology event arranged in Turku, Finland, now for the fourth time. For SHIFT 2019 the theme was Shapeshifting Intelligence, or how to build a better future using new technologies.