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2018 Hackathon Puts Focus On Health Wellness

2-day Technology-Driven Behavioral Design Summit Hackathon

NewPathVR is producing a VR Wellness Hackathon the third week of February 2018 at Google Launchpad in San Francisco. NewPathVR is convening a group of interested developers for the 2-day Hackathon, with a real-world mission of “creating life-changing products in the health and wellness arena”. Participants will have a chance to collaborate on diverse teams with projects reviewed by industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

Organized Around the following themes:

* Research
* Foundations of behavioral design
* Applications
* Broader impact solutions
* Presentations

How It Works

We’ll create “dream teams” with people from various interest groups on one team. Each team will have a mix of people who will learn to work together throughout the 2-day period of the Hackathon. There will be a combination of focused talks and training from innovation leaders and experts, work sessions and final presentations of startups from each team. Industry experts will provide expertise to each team and help them rapidly develop their solution. Judges will pick a winning team based on the startup’s viability, feasibility and desirability.

Who’s Coming

All journalism and communications schools are invited to attend the Hackathon, as well as journalists, editors, technologists, entrepreneurs and others with an interest in networking, collaboration and innovation. We allow undergraduates, graduates and doctoral students to compete on teams. You may either purchase a "hacker" ticket to participate, or a "professional" ticket to network and observe.

There will be a special presentation by Sarah Hashkes, Co-Founder of Virtual Bytes. Virtual Bytes is an education, research and art collective. They aim to showcase how combining VR tech and neuroscience knowledge can influence our lives and wish to help creators in this new medium by bringing you 2 VR demos a month that hack the mind-body connection. They use all sorts of platforms like the HTC Vive, Oculus or web VR and will make their code available to coders for the hackathon!


Registration fees help cover the cost of food and drinks, as well as producing the Hackathon. Early Bird Registration costs $8 for hackers and $10 for professionals, and the deadline is February 5, 2018. Thereafter, regular registration costs $10 for hackers and $15 for professionals.

Travel Info

Travel and housing costs are up to participants, but there are competitive rates at nearby hotels. Google Launchpad is located within a 30 minutes drive of the San Francisco International Airport.


February 21st to February 22nd, 2018

Plan to arrive Tuesday, February 20th, in the evening by 6 pm for our kick-off mixer, with an official start early Wednesday morning and ending Thursday afternoon at 4 pm with the announcement of the winners.


Google Launchpad
301 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

Kick-Off Mixer!

For those arriving early enough on Tuesday, there will be a kick-off mixer from 6 pm to 8 pm at Azucar at Folsom and 9th Street. The networking event will be a great way for Hackathon participants to meet up and get to know each other.

Sponsored by NewPathVR

Interested in demoing your VR or transformative technology? Tables are free!

Would you like to support this event by sponsoring with a cash or in-kind prize? 

Download the Event Sponsorship Deck

NewPathVR aspires to be the best wellness VR company. Achieving this goal starts with building the world's premier R&D organization. NewPathVR's R&D Guiding Principles were inspired by this pursuit and designed to reinforce our strategic priorities.

Focus on innovative interventions for unmet needs in patients with serious illnesses. While NewPathVR is always pursuing new opportunities and adapting to challenges, we retain an enduring commitment to the same mission. That mission is to enhance the quality of life for patients facing serious illness and declining health.

Pursue test cases that can be validated in the real world. We believe we are on the threshold of a revolution in science in which population genetics will help to reveal new targets that clearly drive disease risk in humans. By focusing on targets supported by human genetics or other lasting evidence, we aim to increase our clinical success rates, increase technology trust and adoption, and lower the cost of delivering solutions to patients as we understand them better.

Use a "blended learning" approach. NewPathVR pursues an "intergrated" or "blended" learning approach to its R&D. We strive to select targets based on a deep understanding of psychosocial profile, and then choose the application and frequency, best suited to the target. We recognize our strength in psychology and the higher clinical success rates for psychological applications. We also maintain a broad toolkit of modalities, including art and similar therapies, in order to have the right tool for any target we pursue.

Focus on return on investment and operational efficiency. To maximize the value of NewPathVR's R&D investment, we focus resources on programs that offer a large effect size and more likelihood of success. We maximize the value of lower-priority initiatives by partnering. NewPathVR also strives to continually identify operational efficiencies, such as reduced development times, leaner test trials, and centralized reviews.

Harness external innovation. At NewPathVR, we pursue great innovation wherever we can find it, and parts of our research come from collaborations with other schools and healthcare institutions. We honor this synergy between in-house and external innovation.

NewPathVR’s Active PsychologyTM

The term ‘psychosocial health’ is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘a state of complete physical mental and social well-being’.

The importance of being mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually sound can be lost as we move through life. In a one-size-fits-all solution, one pill was supposed to solve everything! Now we are all learning to the contrary, and there's plenty of substantive proof that a healthy mind and a peaceful soul are just as important for the prevention of diseases and their treatment. Therefore, this concept of psychosocial health, a state of mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, deserves a better look.

NewPathVR is developing an “Active PsychologyTM” layer into all of the experiences. Our Active Psychology draws on key research that shows that VR can create environments that change your perspective of — and actions in — the real world. For decades, researchers have applied these tactics within virtual reality environments towards problems like depression, phobias (fear of public speaking, fear of heights), and social disorders, (depression, anxiety, and PTSD) and they’ve treated patients successfully.

NewPathVR has a library of these psychological and psychosocial mechanisms and is combining them with virtual environments to create effectively positive, personal growth experiences that people keep with them as a lasting impression in the real world.

Read our blog


VR and Emotional Development

NewPathVR is a transformative technology company that combines the unprecedented access that VR has to the subconscious with extensive psychological research to create powerful new tools for personal and emotional growth. We are concerned with the power of VR to change perceptions of and behaviors in the real world once you take the headset off and believe that integration is a key part of VR's benefit.

NewPathVR is the creator of personal development and emotional intelligence applications in virtual reality. The company uses research-based methods from its proprietary Active PsychologyTM library to create wellness applications for VR with the goal of evoking positive change through transformative technology. We also power the world’s first VR wellness portal — RenewVR.com.

Shedding fears to meet potential

The concepts of "letting go" and "meeting" are intimately connected. When we properly let go we can properly meet our new potential. Whether that's in a romantic relationship or transition in career or just about any new life challenge. When we learn to properly part with, for example, memories, only when we give it a proper closure does our mind allow for the proper formation of new memories to sprout.

Our immersive experiences are categorized in two forms: letting go and meeting. Letting go experiences can mean letting go of fears and all that is associated with fear: stress, anger, indecision, self-doubt. In other words, all the familiar cycles we find ourselves caught up in time and time again.

Meeting experiences are ones where we meet our new potential. The person we always wanted to be and others would be proud of. Meeting our new potential is essentially meeting a new us, by definition unfamiliar and exciting.

Both experiences are challenging in nature. They require more commitment and emotional investment in the user. They ask for our courage, no matter how small a seed.

NewPathVR creates research-driven experiences to help people effectively make changes in themselves that could help them overcome obstacles, live up to their potential, and have better lives.

Take a closer look at some of the projects we're pursuing today.

Read about our team.

Contact Us


building self esteem

Psychosocial health is a combination of psychological, emotional, and social factors. It determines and reflects the way people view themselves and others, and how they deal with problems and stressful situations. Here are just a few traits shared by psychosocially healthy individuals.

Meditation is a several-thousand year old practice for training the mind. Historically a practice reserved for quiet monks, disciplined kung-fu masters, yogis, and ochre-robed swamis, it’s now the preferred performance-enhancing practice of R&B moguls, Super Bowl Champions, Olympic athletes, and A-list celebrities.

Meditation has gone mainstream.

One reason for that is that meditation is generally considered one of the most effective ways to train and focus your attention. And now, science has shown us that the meditative state has extremely positive physiological and neurological effects. What's to come in VR is very exciting. Why? Because meditation goes well beyond stress relief, although in itself, stress relief is a fine goal. Meditation unlocks the subconscious and allows you to tap into all kinds of self-improvement and reprogramming of poor habits and thinking. Here are some research-based findings on meditation.

NewPathVR is a virtual reality content and publishing company based in San Francisco, CA. We specialize in virtual reality experiences that present proven, creative and conscious ways of transforming the individual and the world.

Why spirituality and meditation?

We focus on spiritual and meditation content because those topics resonate with a wide audience. The meditation space is booming, take a look at the hundreds of meditation apps available today. Our experiences will be even more amazing in VR and still offer the health benefits of meditation, personal empowerment, and self-visualization, all shown to hold great promise in the powerful medium of VR because of the leap in emotional bandwidth that this new media holds.

Will you handle all aspects of the publishing process for me?

Every project is different. We assess your needs and desires on a case-by-case basis.

However, we can manage every aspect of the publishing process for you and collaborate along the way; concept, storyboarding, planning, production, licensing negotiation, editing, distribution, marketing, PR, and event management. Most importantly - we do all of this for a minimal investment on your part while you retain all rights and ownership to your content and in all work that we create on your behalf.

Whether an experience for one headset, a one-time event or an ongoing distribution strategy, our team includes decades of marketing and award-winning publishing experience.

I previously published my title/experience elsewhere. Can I switch to NewPathVR?

Absolutely - let’s talk. Most times you are free to distribute your content wherever you wish. NewPathVR is the door to a number of new media channels in the virtual reality space.

Where are you located? Can I visit your offices?

We are located in San Francisco, CA and we love visits from partners. Simply let us know what day you would like to come for a visit and we will arrange an appointment.

To explore publishing opportunities, please contact us.

Contact Us

VR Developer Job Description

As a VR Developer, you work as part of the production team, using test-driven development to making software that implement spiritual experiences. SpiritualVR creates experiences that open eyes and souls, encouraging wellness and spiritual growth.

Must Haves:
· B.S. in Computer Science or equivalent
· Exceptional analytical and creative problem-solving skills; self-starter and solution-oriented individual
· Knowledge of algorithms and design patterns, plus proficiency in C#, JavaScript, Linux, node.js, Git
· Worked with Unity and other VR tools as a Software Engineer or game developer
· Experience developing on iOS or Android architectures, including online connectivity
· Experience with source code management in a collaborative environment
· Shipped at least one game to the App Store
· Local candidate

Nice to Haves:
· 5 years’ experience with large, scalable client/server web services, or startup
· Experience with OpenGL or DirectX
· Graphics development (Unity Particle Systems, Shaders)
· Experience leading client game development teams

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Embodying Self-Compassion within Virtual Reality and its Effects on Patients with Depression

"By having participants embody an adult and then a child virtual body in succession, our scenario effectively provided a self-to-self situation enabling participants to deliver compassionate sentiments and statements to themselves. Consistent with predictions, this condition resulted in a significantly greater increase in self-compassion..."

British Journal of Psychiatry Open Feb 2016, 2 (1) 74-80; DOI: 10.1192/bjpo.bp.115.002147. Caroline J. Falconer, Aitor Rovira, John A. King, Paul Gilbert, Angus Antley, et al

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