Contests ongoing as E3 approaches
The Oculus Mobile Jam competition continues with more than 500 entries. The experiences being built include an educational app explaining the science of simulator sickness from the people who Kickstarted an Apollo 11 experience, while the creator of Titans of Space is making a telescope-planetarium-observatory. Also, the man who won the first Oculus VR Jam with Darknet is building a tabletop real-time strategy game.
There are too many interesting ideas for us to name them all, but Voices of VR’s Kent Bye compiled a list of eye-catching experiences as well as an unofficial spreadsheet with everything listed so that people can more easily peruse the projects.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles cloud-based rendering company OTOY announced a contest with a grand prize of $25,000 for people to “make inspirational artwork” for VR. If you want to see what OTOY can do, it launched the ORBX Media Player in the Oculus Store on Gear VR, which includes content produced using some of its technology.
While promoting the contests with a blog post, Oculus also announced two key hires, Anna Sweet from Valve to head developer strategy and Mary Lou Jepsen to work on future VR displays. Jepsen previously worked in Google’s semi-secret X lab.
The announcements come six weeks ahead of E3 where Oculus is likely to show polished versions of potentially killer apps like space-fighting game EVE: Valkyrie, platformer Lucky’s Tale and possibly something new.
Oculus platform leader and co-founder Nate Mitchell will also be taking the stage for an interview at Techcrunch Disrupt, which runs from May 4 to 6 in New York.
VR journalism examples from NYT and WSJ
The New York Times is getting deeper into VR with its magazine debuting Walking New York, a virtual experience built by VRSE that takes you up in a helicopter for a bird's eye view of street art. Wired writes about the “making of” and the Times’ take on VR's role in the future of journalism. “Two huge factors of VR are the feeling of transporting you to some place ... [and] connecting you to the people inside of that place.” Also, The New York Times’ ad department is working on a virtual reality campaign for an unnamed customer which should be released in four months.
Not to be outdone, the Wall Street Journal debuted an interactive web-based VR “ride” that takes people through the ups and downs of two decades of the NASDAQ stock exchange.