A global initiative to drive forward innovation in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), VR First have announced that they have already made progress towards their stated goal of providing state-of-the-art AR/VR facilities to schools, colleges and other learning institutions, but the organisation is still aiming towards getting 50 labs set up worldwide by the end of 2017.
There are already 26 labs operating in regions such as the USA, Europe and Asia, with another 14 due to open soon. VR First gets involved with universities and science parks to renovate standard PC labs into facilities ready for AR and VR technology.
VR First have also been working with IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, renowned creators of standards for electronic equipment who has a current working group assembling a set of standards for VR and AR. One of which, IEEE P2048.5 is being supported by VR First during the benchmarking process and will be promoting its adoption to lab partners, governments and schools.
“The progress VR First has made in just its first year, from 26 labs open and more coming soon, to its growing technology partner network and the unveiling of dozens of VR projects developed at VR First Labs, is excellent momentum to democratize the innovation VR/AR landscape,” explains Ferhan Özkan, co-founder, VR First. “With more than 65% of universities planning dedicated VR labs, plus science parks and governments interest to do the same, continued growth of our efforts is without question. We invite all industry technology providers and stakeholders to join us in this meaningful program.”
VR First currently has more than 50 projects in development at the VR First labs, which are located in universities and colleges around the world. Not all of those projects are focussed on videogames. There are projects based around neuroscience, education, tourism and architecture. Most of those projects are developed first one HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.
The organisation have produced a video to promote their work with educational centres which can be viewed below.
“VR First is fully independent, and supports VR First labs no matter their choice of engines or platforms, and welcomes all hardware and software providers. We believe that if you have a noble vision like Democratization of VR/AR Innovation, it deserves to be protected from any competitive sacrifice. This vision could only be achieved with a vendor-neutral approach.” added Özkan.
VR technology labs are becoming an increasingly common sight at universities and schools, often sponsored by VR industry names, such as the VR lab at UC Berkeley sponsored by Immerex. How this will impact the development of VR technology in the long term is yet to be seen.
VRFocus will keep you updated on VR First and VR in education.