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The VR Diversity Initiative Returns – But What Is It?

In 2017, VRFocus was involved in creating a new type of event to encourage under-represented groups to get involved in immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). The first event was a success, and soon we’ll be undertaking the Kick-off Event for the first edition in the 2018 series.

The initial VR Diversity Initiative took place at Digital Catapult in London. Where a single day was broken down into a morning comprising several talks from experts in the field of VR and immersive technology, followed by a hands-on workshop in the afternoon.

The first VR Diversity Initiative event was led by Catherine Allen, a VR producer and curator who has since gone on to set up her own VR content exhibition and curation company called Limina, which will be holding a public-facing VR festival in the UK later this year.

The purpose of the VR Diversity Initiative is to offer support, workshops and opportunities for groups who are under-represented in media and technology, including LGBT, women, Black, Asian, the disabled and other under under-represented groups with the XR and tech industry. The initiative hopes to tackle inequality in future immersive tech by providing a free workshop for these groups. One of the biggest barriers for the public is the expensive hardware that’s needed in order to create immersive experiences. Selected participants will be able to create a rough VR prototype for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, guided by experienced VR developers. This will enable participants to learn the basics of building a project in either Unreal Engine or Unity, giving them the confidence to pursue a career in XR fields.

This year’s VR Diversity Initiative event will be led by VRFocus’ own Nina Salomons and is due to take place on 28th February, 2018 at Here East in London, support by Hobs Studio. This will be first of six VR Diversity Initiatives that will take place this year. The event will only be allowing a limited number of attendees, who will need to apply by filling in the application form. Each attendee will be given an opportunity to work with an experienced VR mentor in order to develop and produce a prototype within a single day.

Further information on the VR Diversity Initiative and the upcoming event can be found in the below video presentation where Nina Salomons explains in full detail what she hopes to achieve.

Further information on other upcoming projects and event for the VR Diversity Initiative will be found here on VRFocus.