The year-long event series kicks off March 30, 2021 bringing together tech enthusiasts, developers, entrepreneurs and innovators 

Omaha, NE – February 24, 2021 1623 Farnam, a regional leader in network-neutral, edge interconnection and data center services announces its participation in an Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) Developer Challenge. Launching March 30, 2021, this year-long initiative offers $20,000 in cash prizes and will begin with a Design and Discovery Workshop with development teams collaborating and working through project opportunities leading up to the AR/VR Hackathon in May and a Demonstration Day slated for August. The 1623 Farnam team is working in conjunction with the UNMC – iEXCEL, University of Nebraska, Greater Omaha Chamber, Omaha Metropolitan Community College, AIM Institute, KC Digital Drive, T-Mobile and US Ignite.

With AR, we can see real-life environments right in front of us on our smartphones and other devices and VR offers a view of a world or situation that doesn’t exist wrapped up in simulated experiences. According to Ian Hughes, Sr. Research Analyst and William Fellows, Research Director, at 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, “VR is ideal for giving a sense of being somewhere else and having an experience, and virtual worlds represent the next level. Augmented reality brings digital content, including other people, into a delegate’s physical space.1” The two go on to note, “AR is not only the user interface for IoT – where digital meets the physical, enabling engineers to see live instrumentation from machinery to a hands-free headset – it also offers the ability to bring people virtually to your office or to virtually gather around designs, ideas and even presentations.”

“The uses and applications of AR/VR are limitless, and have proven to be especially useful recently, when people have not been able to gather in groups due to the global pandemic. As such, the AR/VR Developer Challenge is a perfect opportunity to continue collaboration and driving advancements forward.” – Todd Cushing President of 1623 Farnam 

This unique event will bring together new ideas, innovative concepts, and opportunities to grow an ecosystem of AR/VR solutions with the goal to build new solutions and businesses. The timeline of events for the AR/VR Developer Challenge includes:

  • Join the Community (February-March 2021) – Calling all tech enthusiasts, this is your chance to sign up and develop a cool use of AR/VR technology 
  • Design and Discovery Workshop (March 30, 2021) – Virtual session to present ideas and form teams; At the conclusion of the workshop, 3 teams will be awarded $1,500 each to continue developing 
  • Sprint to Hackathon (April-May, 2021) – Teams will work individually to start developing their product in preparation for the Hackathon; access to additional tools, mentors, and educational resources
  • AR/VR Hackathon (May 14-16, 2021) – A weekend drive to start developing and present a full functioning product and interact with a larger group of people; Judges will award a $10,000 first prize and a $5,000 second prize
  • Drive to Demo Day (June-July, 2021) – Work to create an MVP that can be presented at Demo Day
  • AR/VR Demo Day (August 2021) – Time to celebrate and show off what has been created

“Representing two of the biggest technology trends, AR and VR advancements have increased greatly in the past few years, with many believing they are inspiring a tech revolution. 1623 Farnam is proud to be a supporter of the AR/VR Developer Challenge this year and help spur the development of more uses for our everyday lives, paving the way for future innovations that are truly changing how we interact with computers.” – Greg Elliott, VP of Business Development for 1623 Farnam

“We are delighted to participate in this series of cutting edge challenges to developers. As iEXCEL creates visual and digital content and assets for health professions education, we see great opportunities for AR/VR and Holographic technology to improve the outcomes of patient care as well as the patient experience of healthcare!” – Pamela J. Boyers, Ph.D.; Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical Simulation; iEXCEL, University of Nebraska Medical Center

“Developer challenges truly allow our most remarkable innovators to shine; and we’re looking forward to all of the great applications that grow out of this year-long initiative. Thanks, 1623 Farnam, for encouraging people to ‘think big.’” – David G. Brown, president and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber

“One of the beautiful things about the next generation of connectivity is the ability to make seamless connections between different geographies. The AR/VR Heartland  Challenge represents a great opportunity to bring together innovators from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and beyond to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem and create meaningful new applications.” – Aaron Deacon, Managing Director of KC Digital Drive

“XR amplifies human creativity, knowledge and connection. It’s a powerful storytelling platform as the line between our real and digital worlds continue to blur. The Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts is actively training the next generation of artists and storytellers who are learning how to leverage these new and emerging technologies to entertain and to solve human-scale problems. We are proud to partner with 1623 Farnam and the AR/VR Heartland Challenge to encourage further innovation and new applications.” – Megan Elliott, Founding Director, Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

All interested AR/VR developers, innovators, and entrepreneurs can sign up via this registration page.

As an interconnected edge data center located in Omaha, Nebraska, 1623 Farnam is a robust ecosystem offering access to over 50 carriers and service providers, along with multiple on-ramps to the cloud, including Megaport, Telia and AWS. Clients are also a cross-connect away from interconnecting into Google’s largest North American Cloud node.

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About 1623 Farnam

1623 Farnam is the leading network interconnect point providing secure direct edge connectivity to fiber and wireless network providers, major cloud and CDN properties, content providers and Fortune 500 enterprises. We support mission-critical infrastructure and applications with the highest levels of availability, enabling maximum levels of application performance. As the regional leader in network-neutral, edge interconnection, 1623 Farnam offers access to 50 network companies which have local, regional, national and international reach. Located in the heart of the Midwest, 1623 Farnam services over five million eyeballs and multiple Fortune 500 companies in our region. Nebraska is the 15th fastest growing tech state and 20th fastest population growing state in the nation. We pride ourselves on consistently earning high customer satisfaction scores resulting in customer peace-of-mind.

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1 Quoted from Ian Hughes and William Fellows, 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, COVID-19: An opportunity for virtual and augmented reality to shine” – March 2020