VR for Good Initiative: Oculus Plans to Support Schools with Virtual Reality
The Oculus’s VR for Good initiative is aiming to make virtual reality a device of social change.
Facebook-owned Oculus VR is planning to create the so-called VR for Good initiative, with the intention of making a difference with the help of virtual reality.
“Virtual reality has unlimited potential for gaming and entertainment, but it’s also a powerful way to drive important social change,” the company announced in a blog post. “Filmmakers everywhere see this and are pushing the boundaries of cinematic VR to tell stories with an impact. There’s also a large community of nonprofit organizations eager to embrace VR as a tool to raise awareness for causes in need of a voice.”
What We Know So Far About the VR for Good Initiative
The VR for Good initiative will kick-start with two pilot VR film programs. The first one being the 360 Filmmakers Challenge, which is expected to bring together nine San Francisco Bay Area high schools and professional filmmakers to collaborate on a three-to-five-minute VR video about their respective communities. A Samsung Gear VR, a Samsung Galaxy S6, and Ricoh’s Theta S 360 cameras will be given.
The program will last for six weeks, at the end of which Oculus will post the students’ videos on Facebook and in Oculus Video.
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The second program is named the 360 Bootcamp for Nonprofits pilot and will have ten filmmakers and ten nonprofits joining hands to create 360 VR videos about different social missions.
Oculus said, “Teams will start their filmmaking journey at a two-day bootcamp at Facebook HQ, July 26–27. We’ll supply the film teams with everything they need to create professional 360 videos, including Nokia OZO cameras, post-production support, travel budget, and one-on-one mentorship with industry veterans.”
To participate, the nonprofits can recommend their organizations, while filmmakers can apply for 360 Bootcamp. The first videos produced from this initiative will be made public at the Sundance Fest.
“We look forward to seeing how these students and filmmakers impact important causes through creative VR work and to expanding VR for Good to even more programs this year,” added the company.
Goal of the Initiative
Although the initiative can be considered an attempt by Oculus to enlarge its scope at the same time giving back to the society, this is also a big step for the tech giant as they continue to rev up their virtual reality efforts. Certainly, it is at the moment contending against a wide range of competitors, including HTC and Sony.
Safe to say, Oculus focuses on building a relationship with people rather than creating more content for the platform, which the company sees this as a better way to achieve its goals.