VR is a new and budding technology, and while most people think of gaming when they think of the tech, there are almost unlimited use cases available for the new frontier. While the home decor and automotive industries have been using VR to transform the way they do business, Oculus is looking towards the technology as a voice for social change. In a new initiative called “VR For Good”, Oculus is launching 2 pilot programs to help local communities create films highlighting what makes their areas and organizations special.
In the first program, Oculus is giving nine San Francisco schools and their students access to VR headsets, 360 degree cameras, and professional film mentors in order to create content highlighting local communities. The company will be giving the schools Samsung Gear VR headsets, Samsung Galaxy S6 Smartphones, Ricoh Theta S 360 cameras, and professional editing software in order to create short 3-5 minute videos, and will be connecting students with professional film mentors to help bring their films to life. The initiative was put forward to help showcase what makes the local communities special to each student, and will help to show off the amazing capabilities of 360 degree video. Viewers will be able to watch the films via any VR headset, such as Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, or Samsung’s Gear VR, which the students will be testing their own videos with.
In addition to the school pilot, Oculus will be selecting 10 non-profit organizations to create films of much the same caliber. The organizations will be matched with professional film makers to help get their goals across to the public, and will be given access to much of the same hardware, adding Nokia’s OZO 360 degree cameras, normally priced at $60,000 a pop. Other than hardware, the company will be supplying a travel budget and post-production support, so these organizations should have no issue creating amazing 360 degree content to get the public interested.
Oculus is donating $1 million to get the projects started, and has high hopes that the initiatives will get the public enthralled with the idea of virtual reality. Oculus’ head of video Eugene Wei said:
Projects like this are going to bear fruit in the very long run.
There is no doubt that creating as much content as possible will help drive the tech forward, and it seems like a great idea for Oculus to push the industry with positive non-profit initiatives.
Organizations can apply for the funding at the end of May, and those selected will take part in a 2 day training to learn how all the hardware works on July 26th and 27th. The company is aiming to have the films completed by the end of the year, and is planning on releasing them to the public at the annual Sundance film festival in January of 2017.
What do you think of the initiatives? Looking forward upcoming VR content?
via: USA Today