Each year, the ReVolution competitions highlight avant-gardist immersive projects.
Crédits photos : Prisma / Laval Virtual
Laval Virtual is celebrating its 25th edition this year. The biggest stakeholders of virtual reality, augmented reality and the metaverse will be at Laval in France on April 12-16, 2023. Europe’s largest event is also a time to reveal young talents of the immersive field. Since its creation in 1999, Laval Virtual has highlighted virtual reality emerging actors through its competitions: ReVolution.
Hundreds of VR/AR projects exhibited since 1999
At the time of its creation in 1999, Laval Virtual’s mission was to bring 3D and immersive technologies to light. 24 years later, the formula stays the same and the event is a prerequisite to discover the best of virtual and augmented reality. One of the ambitions of Laval Virtual is also to show the evolution of those technologies, identify their potential and anticipate their future. The event was always attentive to cutting-edge technologies and pioneer uses. To showcase this part, Laval Virtual created the ReVolution competitions. This year, more than 200 projects applied.
Each year, creators, researchers and entrepreneurs are rushing to take part in the ReVolution competitions. They highlight virtual reality emerging actors by giving them the opportunity to exhibit their solution. With the aim of supporting young talents, participation in the competitions is free of charge. The winners have an exhibition booth during the Laval Virtual event. They can meet experts from the immersive field and receive direct feedback on their work.
5 big competitions for the 2023 edition
Applications are studied by a jury of international experts. They make a selection among hundreds of them: innovative projects, technologies of tomorrow, pioneer uses of VR/AR. Competitions are shared into five categories:
- ReVolution #Research
- ReVolution #Startups
- ReVolution #Experiences
- ReVolution #Students – Demo
- ReVolution #Students – Limited Time
The #Research category is for laboratories, universities and companies investing in virtual reality research. It’s quite common to bump into Japanese universities in this pavilion. Each year, these applicants offer the most avant-gardist uses. In this pavilion, you can try and test pioneer hardware. The participants of the #Research categories often explore other technologies, like haptics or artificial intelligence. They push the limits of immersion and exhibit prototypes of solutions that could revolutionize virtual reality experiences. This year, 14 projects will be presented.
Last year, a Kyoto University project on haptic technologies convinced the jury. The winner of this category wins a trip to the United States to attend and exhibit at the SIGGRAPH. It’s an event specialized in infography and interactive technologies.
Startups are the future of innovation. This category rewards young companies that never had the chance to exhibit at an event such as Laval Virtual. All the startups created less than three years ago can apply. They must propose a solution that revolutionizes the world of virtual reality and immersion. 16 projects will be presented at the fair.
The #Startups category is cross-disciplinary, so it highlights companies from all business fields: healthcare, training, real estate, tourism, etc. Several startups also exhibit hardware solutions, like Olfy in 2021 which presented a device to smell odours during a virtual reality experience. Thanks to the competition, Olfy won an award and met potential clients and business partners. As a result, Olfy came back to the event last year as an exhibitor.
The #Experiences category is back in 2023 after disappearing for two years. It’s for content creators, developers, producers and production studios. The category showcases cross-technology projects, meaning that use virtual reality and other technology: voice recognition, artificial intelligence, biometrics, multisensory, blockchain, and haptics. The goal is to discover solutions and applications with which we can live complete immersive experiences.
The #Experiences category already awarded several types of content: video games, audiovisual projects, educational contents, documentary, fiction, etc. In 2020, the jury chose a simultaneous artistic experience with dancing, a relaxation experience coupled with a brain sensing headband, and a mixed reality application that uses biometric sensors that detect movement and breathing. This year, 15 projects have been selected by a jury of experts from the immersive field.
Students also have their own space in the Laval Virtual competitions. The #Students category splits into two contests: “Demo” and “Limited Time”. The #Students – Demo category is for students who explore immersive technologies during their training program. 12 student projects are selected each year and presented in the eyes of the professional world of virtual reality. The winners of the category have the chance to fly to Japan and attend the IVRC (Interverse Virtual Reality Challenge). The competition is a springboard for those who will later become the future creators of innovative immersive solutions.
The #Students – Limited Time category is for projects made during the event. During 2 days, a hackathon – or technological marathon – is organized with 10 competitive teams. A theme is selected each year and revealed at the very last time. The teams have 30 hours to produce a real-time virtual reality application. Students are helped by a mentor during the hackathon, and are offered all the hardware they need. After the hackathon, they can exhibit their project during the Laval Virtual event in order to have them tested by professionals and the general public.
This year again, many innovative and avant-gardist projects are expected on the ReVolution pavilions. The competitions selection will be revealed on February. The Laval Virtual Awards ceremony will reward the best immersive projects of the year from this selection. To discover the future talents of virtual and augmented reality, attend the Laval Virtual event on April 12-16, 2023.