Open Call for the Hackathon SNX.VR

Take part in the creation of new experiences in virtual reality

Are you are connected to the arts, design, music, programming, creativity and also interested in the development of new applications in the realm of Virtual Reality? Take part in Hackathon SNX.VR promoted by swissnex Brazil! The goal of this Hackathon is to create new features and extend the experience within the virtual world of HanaHana using an innovative device called Virandola which adds breathing as a possibility of interaction inside the VR interface.


The SNX.VR Hackathon will take place from August 16th to the 18th in Rio de Janeiro. Artists, developers, musicians, graphics and game designers will be able to create new features for the art project HanaHana by Swiss artist Mélodie Mousset, connecting it to the respiration device Virandola, developed by EPFL neuroscientist Bruno Herbelin. Five to six teams of 3-4 people will compete against each other. An expert jury will choose the best work. The winner’s feature will be integrated into HanaHana and presented at the World VR Forum in Switzerland.

The HanaHana and Virandola

HanaHana 花華, the VR experience, takes the player in a harrowing and thrilling journey into the depths of their minds, bodies and senses. HanaHana originates with the human hand, source of creation and destruction. The pioneer contemporary Artwork by Mélodie Mousset develops as players, one after the other, grow hands and unleash their creativity throughout each new exhibition. In the HanaHana world, players are granted the ability to teleport and to create. By teleporting you can explore the surreal landscape. By creating you can sprout hands, grow chains of hands and construct anything you can imagine from this root component.

Virandola is a device created by neuroscientist Bruno Herbelin, deputy director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. Virandola means “windmill” in Italian and allows you to capture the air produced by breathing through a small wind vane coupled to the virtual reality headset. Thus breath becomes data for interaction in the virtual world. Bruno’s work is open source, and Virandola can be built using 3D printing, microprocessors, and easily accessible materials.

Check out the Hackathon SNX.VR launch event:

What is the goal of the Hackathon?

The objective is to experiment around the question of how breathing can be transformed and how it can be used in VR technology. In dialogue with the artist, the researcher, and the HanaHana developers, the teams will connect Virandola and Hanahana. They will be free to create their own feature and develop their personal vision and interpretation of how breathing can transform the world. They can use Virandola to add their original ideas to Hanahana as movement, sound, visual art or any other creative input.

Here are some core aesthetic components of Hanahana which can be used as guidelines:

  • Sense of Pleasure: how it stimulates your senses and how to enhance the player’s sense of presence and embodied experience: interactive feedback, haptic, visual, and audio.
  • Joy of Discovery: how to enhance the pleasure and joy of discovering new, uncharted territory about a system, hidden mechanisms in the world, within yourself or in other players.
  • Power of Expression: how to improve and enrich the creative aspect of HanaHana enhancing self-expression and creativity.
  • Fellowship (multiplayer): how to develop cooperation and connection between people that are not physically present in a virtual environment. Enhance empathy and sympathy between players. How can breathing  help with that?
  • Abnegation: how to make the experience more relaxing, amplify the stress release aspect, a way to leave problems behind and simply enjoy – letting go of everyday tension, and stress.

The use of Virandola is mandatory. The goal of the Hackathon SNX.VR is to integrate this new interaction modality and device into HanaHana.

Who can participate in the Hackathon?

Artists, musicians and sound engineers, game designers, technical artists, 3D developers, coders, programmers, and creatives. Teams will have 3 to 5 participants, and obligatorily at least one person per group needs to be fluent in Unity 3D (game engine). Participants can register in teams already organized or register individually for the later composition of teams. There is no registration fee. Candidates will be pre-selected due to the limited number of participants.


The deadline for applications is until August 3rd, 2019. Candidates will be pre-selected due to the limited number of places. REGISTER HERE.

Which rewards will the winning team get?

The name of the winning project and the creation team will be associated with HanaHana in the future and may be incorporated to the original world. The winning project will be presented at the World VR Forum in Switzerland and potentially at other festivals in Brazil and around the world. 

The Event

Friday Evening includes a welcome cocktail where everyone gets to meet each other. Mélodie and Bruno will introduce their work. We will distribute the Virandolas among the participants and inform the program and dynamics of the event.

Saturday and Sunday this is when the hackathon will take place. For two days, the teams will be developing their ideas, receiving assistance from Mélodie, Vinicius Faria (HanaHana developer) and Bruno. A moderator will also be there to guide the event. On Sunday evening the jury will choose a winner and we will close the event with a cocktail. Throughout the event, swissnex Brazil will provide food and beverages for the participants.

Click here to make your reservation and learn more about the Hackathon Awarding Event.

Technical Infos

The HanaHana code is not open. Teams will develop on a test scene outside of the HanaHana software, and be integrated in HanaHana at a later stage. Some assets can be packaged, if needed, for the integration of new features and interactions with the Virandola device.

The Virandola and the HanaHana software are currently designed for the HTC Vive headsets. During the event, there will be at least one HTC Live headset that will be shared among the teams.

The Virandolas will be previously printed in 3D and will be made available for the teams.

Participants must bring their personal computers. Each team will need a VR ready PC – click here to review specifications and test your computer.

Discover HanaHana: