A hackathon was organized by Ultrahack in Pori, during the Suomi Areena festival on the topic of the Metaverse. This event, which was held between the 27th and 29th of June 2023, aimed to bring together teams that would explore ”The Future of Work in the Metaverse” with their own project ideas. UBICOMP gathered a team of developers consisting of Filip Georgiev, Dániel Szabó, Chubo Zeko and Teemu Kulojärvi, who attended this event and became the grand winners with their project WeAR. The final pitch can be seen here (minutes 2 to 8).
WeAR (read as wear) is a virtual fitting room, which can be used in AR- capable headsets like the Apple Vision Pro, Hololens 2 and Meta Quest (Pro). During the hackathon a proof-of-concept VR application was created, together with a comprehensible business plan. In essence, WeAR would make use of novel cloth simulation technology to create realistic digital clothing, based on fashion manufacturer data. This clothing would in turn be superimposed in real-time on the user, either when they are looking at a mirror or at themselves through their headset. This functionality is enabled by the state-of-the-art scanners and trackers on the AR device. Research showed that both technologies are available, but competitors are focusing on mobile AR fitting rooms, which hamper user experience. The business plan outlines that the reason for this is that AR headset adoption by regular users is still in its infancy stage and so it is seen as unprofitable. However, the current trends show that AR headsets will be much more prevalent in a few years, acting as the new mobile phones, and that most probably a large market for virtual fitting rooms will emerge. Because of this, the team believes that there is an opportunity to be first-to-market with WeAR, by aiming to create an Amazon-like digital store in the Metaverse, where users can pick any clothing from any fashion shop and try them on virtually on their own body. More details about the developed product idea can be viewed online in the final pitch here from minute 2 to 8.
2. The UBICOMP’s team develops its project idea at the Metaverse Hackathon.
The hackathon committee evaluated projects based on Impact, Business model, Team, Innovativeness and Technical Capabilities. Seeing that the event was more focused on the business idea rather than the actual implementation, the team decided to take a more ideation-based approach. The team was split into two: i) POF visualization and ii) Business development. The former would focus on creating a POF application, which properly conveys the idea behind the product, while also creating story-driven visualizations, which can fill in the holes, that the application leaves. The latter sub-team would focus on doing market research, validation and business model development. Putting all of the above together, a five-minute pitch was given in front of the evaluation committee and two investors, followed by a round of questions. The aim of the evaluators was to select the top three teams, which would then go on to repeat their pitch in front of a live audience and online on MTV, where the grand winner would be chosen by the popular vote of the people.
After getting to top three and consecutively also winning the popular vote, UBICOMP’s team received a cash prize, an AR headset, a mobile phone and hotel vouchers as their prize. They are now looking forward to enjoying their winnings.
Overall, the event was a great success, which led to interesting new connections, business opportunities and an invitation to visit Elisa’s Metaverse lab to pitch the project in front of interested parties.
Will this project continue in the form of a startup? Stay tuned!
Text by Filip Georgiev