Developers rallying for new VR experiences
Meetups are coming, hackathons are planned, and cold hard cash is being offered to developers in a big push for new virtual reality experiences as consumer products come into view.
WEVR announced a $1 million grant program for VR developers, joining Oculus and Epic in offering cash for cool VR projects. The Epic fund is $5 million, while Oculus is offering $1 million in prizes as part of its Mobile VR Jam.
The Los Angeles area VR meetup has grown so large that a group from Silicon Valley is chartering a bus to attend on March 22. Both Valve’s Vive (courtesy of WEVR) and Sony’s Morpheus are expected to be there. If you happen to be in Southern California, OCVR is holding a hackathon on April 11 for mobile VR development to get people ready for the VR Jam.
And a friendly reminder to VR enthusiasts after a number of people, us included, fell ill after the Game Developers Conference: sanitize your gear. CVS sells “Alcohol Prep Swabs” which work well, and John’s hack is to put some coffee filters in a plastic baggy and pour in some 70% isopropyl alcohol.
HMD health concerns: don’t panic
Recently we covered a Q&A session on Reddit with Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap’s CEO, in which he offered little information about the company while simultaneously raising health concerns about Oculus-style virtual reality. When the Washington Post followed up, Magic Leap provided a research paper. However, an author of that paper tells the Post that “there’s no real smoking gun here...But people are making these rather brash statements about potential health concerns and stuff as if there’s a smoking gun. I don’t see it.”
“Thousands of families across Australia are missing out on precious moments everyday, and it’s taking its toll,” suggests a promotional video for the Gear VR from Samsung in the land down under. It depicts a father using VR to witness the birth of his child.