Back in January Crytek announced its VR First initiative to nurture grassroots virtual reality (VR) development worldwide. Since then 201 universities have applied for the program. VR First surveyed the institutions to find out the level of interest in VR and a large number of them are considering the creation of VR programs.
Of the 201 universities surveyed 88 percent are either planning or have already begun offering VR courses. On average there are less than two head-mounted displays (HMDs) available at each of them.
At a Virtual Reality Los Angeles (VRLA) keynote session, Ferhan Özkan, senior business development manager at Crytek said: “According to our predictions, the VR industry is likely to require many more skilled development graduates than it will be producing in the next years. At the same time our data clearly shows that universities are under-equipped to implement educational goals and satisfy the VR industry’s demand. With the VR First initiative we’re addressing this problem, and we invite leading lights in the industry to contribute to this collective approach towards the empowerment of students and developers.”
Since the launch of VR First 14 universities from USA, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe have joined up. Aiming to establish VR Labs on university campuses, the scheme looks to offer students easy access to modern VR hardware from technology partners and development software like Crytek’s CryENGINE.
The academic institutions already part of VR First include The University of Canterbury (New Zealand), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (Finland), University College London (UK), Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), Oklahoma University (US) and Tallinn Technical University (Estonia).
VRFocus will continue its coverage of VR First, reporting back with any further announcements.