A year ago, as part of HTC Vive’s on going drive to see virtual reality (VR) reach the farthest corners of the globe, the company launched VR for Impact, a $10 million USD initiative created to support positive impact and change in collaboration with the United Nations (UN). Today, HTC Vive has announced a partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to drive the VR/AR for Impact initiative forward.
The announcement has come while VR/AR for Impact is showcasing its latest content at the United Nation’s Sustainable Impact Hub at the WEF 2018 in Davos. WEF will be a core member of the group,with HTC Vive continuing to design and create experiences as part of their collaborative, ongoing commitment to foster and champion the use of VR and augmented reality (AR) to educate and empower humanity.
“The challenges our world faces today have never been greater, and humanity needs a clearer understanding and guidance to help solve global issues,” said Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO, HTC in a statement. “Unlike any other medium, Virtual Reality is able to immerse the global audience in literally any experience, and can help us learn, empathize and transform the world. VR/AR for Impact is a unique way of driving critical awareness toward problems and solutions facing mankind.”
“We see so much untapped potential with VR/AR to drive positive outcomes for society in areas such as health and education, and we are looking forward to working with leaders in this space to build up this initiative in the coming years,” says Lauren Joseph, leader of the Electronics Industry Program at World Economic Forum.
Last April, VR/AR for Impact chose several experiences which were among the lineup shown this week at WEF 2018. These included: Tree, Life, The Extraordinary Honey Bee, The Blank Canvas: Hacking Nature, Orthovr and Awavena.
Awavena is a collaboration between the Amazonian Yawanawa and an artist, melding technology and transcendent experiences. The Yawanawa ‘medicine’ has the power to take you on a journey, and Hushuhu, the first woman shaman of the Yawanawa, uses VR like medicine to open a portal to another way of knowing.