Save the date: 14.-20.08.23 in Cologne

Just in time for Gamescom, the creative community of Schanzenstrasse in Köln-Mülheim* brings together industry professionals, artists, researchers and those curious about the future of virtual worlds to explore the true nature of Mixed Reality.
From AR smartphone apps to full VR games and XR performances, the festival allows visitors to experience an exquisite selection of showcases that put the players´ body at their center. Join us for an unparalleled celebration of the senses at SomaFest, a festival dedicated to take a deep dive into the thrill of full-body engagement in spatially immersive media. Discover compelling mixed reality experiences and the hardware, software and design techniques that make them come to life.

Although virtual technologies have made great strides during the pandemic, the potential for mixed reality technology remains largely untapped. Unlike other mass media, mixed reality’s key feature is the ability to experience true physical presence in space. Yet, a majority of XR applications in entertainment, education and business are designed upon a visu-centric approach, reducing the medium to a mere tool for visual exploration and the players´ body to a walking brain with eyes to capture visual information.

The human body, however, can make sense of a wide range of sensory input. It can process and integrate cognitive knowledge, train and build muscle memory, it can – by neuroception – sense subtle changes in our environent and intutively understand and create emotional and hormonal responses.

The exploration of the player-body as a holistic entity for learning and expression is therefore at the heart of the festival´s agenda. Let´s come together and find out! – At the interactive exhibition SomaExpo, the SomaJam hackathon and in the diverse tech demos and workshop program.

  • Masterclass Body-Based Design for XR Creators 14.08.
  • SomaJam Hackathon 14.-18.08.
  • Inspiration Day with workshops, roundtables and project presentations
  • SomaExpo with Outdoor Exhibition 19.+20.08.
  • SomaParty 20.08.

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*SomaFest is an annual event hosted by Cologne Game Lab at TH Köln in partnership with ifs internationale filmschule and Code&Context