SAN FRANCISCO – December 7, 2017 – VR First, the global initiative for enabling VR/AR innovation, along with a team of VR/AR industry leaders, announced the launch of the world’s first VR Academic Purpose bundle, consisting of hardware, services and support/mentorship by key industry organizations, designed for academic research, development and innovation purposes. Announced at the VRX Conference & Expo in San Francisco today, the bundle will allow academic institutions and science parks to engage with immersive technologies and grow their VR/AR labs.
VR First’s Academic Purpose VR Bundle
VR First’s Academic Purpose VR Bundle is being made available in partnership with Intel, HTC Vive, Leap Motion, CDWG, Futuremark, MixCast, SpringboardVR and Senses Global. Created to lower entry barriers for students, developers, entrepreneurs and researchers to access the latest VR/AR technologies, the bundle includes:
- HTC Vive’s VR headset with accessories such as the Vive Deluxe Audio Strap and Vive Tracker, as well as education-related content through the Viveport store;
- Intel® Core™ i7: VR Ready PCs powered by Intel® Core™ i7 processors to deliver the best experience and performance for VR content creation and development;
- Leap Motion hand tracking technology directly attached to VR/AR headsets;
- VRMark Professional Edition benchmarking software for VR performance from Futuremark;
- MixCast by Blueprint Reality, which enables blending of real people with virtual worlds to create compelling 2D content from VR applications in real-time;
- SpringboardVR’s VR management software for automating storage, distribution and launch of VR Content;
- The Academic Bundle catalogue of procurement and logistics services by international technology solutions provider CDWG;
- Access to technology solutions & services in VR, AR, Human Augmentation and Smart Robots by Senses Global;
- Guidance based on standards and recommended practices developed by the IEEE VR/AR Working Group;
- Access to VR First’s extensive network of industry partners for expertise insight on building powerful communities equipped with cutting edge technology and knowledge.
The Academic VR Bundle is now available through VR First as part of its Regional Growth Services program. VR First is inviting all academic institutions, science parks and innovation centers to join and learn about special bundle rates and opportunities available through VR First’s industry network.
“Starting early 2018, we will add further hardware devices and software solutions to the academic bundle. By that, VR First also expands the addressable market for partners through global academic and developer reach,” said Ferhan Özkan, CEO of VR First.
“Education and academia are pushing the forefront of what’s possible in VR today,” said Daniel O’Brien, GM US, Vive. “VR First has created a bundle of hardware and software that serves academic needs, educational requirements and increases the accessibility HTC Vive globally. We’re happy to support their efforts to bring VR to more educational institutions.”
“As the core innovators of technology, Intel is constantly working on new ways to incentivize VR/AR development on a global scale. It is only right that we cooperate with VR First, IEEE and other industry and network partners to strengthen early adoption and reiterate our shared commitment to the democratization of VR/AR innovation,” said Frank Soqui, General Manager for VR at Intel.
VR First’s Regional Growth Services
The new Academic Purpose VR bundle is a key component of VR First’s Regional Growth Services that include renovation of existing facilities or end-to-end solutions for establishing new VR/AR facilities, as well as training, mentorship and crowd-based online competitions.
As an enabling organization, VR First provides not only expertise but also access to the VR/AR industry and community network on a global scale. This network access is essential to the development of regional strategies and industry vertical clusters centered around these growing facilities.
In this regard, mutual partnerships have been initiated between VR First and global network partners who share the vision of democratizing VR/AR innovation. They include IEEE (the largest technical professional organization in the world with more than 423,000 members in 160 countries), E&I (Cooperative of Higher Education Institutions in the US with 4,100 members), IASP (International Association of Science Park and Areas of Innovation covering close to 400 members in 77 countries), IGDA (The International Game Developers Association with 12,000 members), SMARTlab-IDRC (global research institute for social change based on innovation), WBAF (World Business Angels Investment Forum with 267 angel networks and investors from 52 countries), and VRARA (the VR/AR Association with 51 chapters in 24 countries and 3,900 companies).
Growing interest in VR First’s Regional Growth Services is a result of its Lab Seed Support program started two years ago. Through the program, VR First has sponsored many hackathons and meetups through equipment support, and has established to date more than 50 labs worldwide. New labs currently being added include University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), HOWEST University (Belgium), European College of Kosovo (Kosovo), Hacettepe University (Turkey), Eastern University (Bangladesh), DuyTan University (Vietnam), Tsinghua University (China), Nueva Granada Military University (Colombia), and University of São Paulo (Brazil). To view the latest VR/AR projects by VR First Labs, please watch the showcase video: https://youtu.be/rwTt5re367I
For more information, please visit https://www.vrfirst.com/programs/growth.
About VR First
VR First is a global program designed to provide state-of-the-art facilities to creators, companies, and governments interested in exploring the power and potential of immersive technologies. VR First Labs and facilities are key locations for nurturing new talent in VR/AR development and converting ideas into business opportunities. Furthermore, VR First offers competition services to prepare companies for the challenges of tomorrow. For more information, visit https://www.vrfirst.com or follow us at https://twitter.com/VRFirstOfficial or https://www.facebook.com/VRFirstOfficial.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.