VRFocus announced the VR Diversity Initiative campaign for 2018 at the beginning of this year. Aimed at bringing under-represented groups into the XR spaces, the VRDI is very hands-on and workshop oriented. This, naturally, requires a decent amount of space to support room-scale virtual reality (VR). The first event of the campaign, the VR Diversity Initiative 2018 VR Kick-Off! was hosted by Hobs Studio, the largest 3D printing company in the UK. The kick-off was successful with twenty-participants braving the snow and travel disruptions to attend and learn how to create a 360 film or VR experience in Unity. VRFocus asked Kadine James, the 3D Lead at Hobs Studio, about the importance of diversity in technology.
Hobs Studio may be the largest 3D printing company in the UK, but they also specialise in both VR and augmented reality (AR). The VR Diversity Initiative was able to use a space within the studio, enabling participants to also explore what Hobs Studio, and potentially join their academy. Hobs Studio is situated on the Here East campus in London, a creative hub where thousands of start-ups and tech giants are situated.
Previously James explained how Hobs Studio is already supporting diversity with their #FutureSkills programs, offering learning and development opportunities to boost skills and fast-track women and those from lower income backgrounds into the tech industry. “We’re working with women across multiple diverse backgrounds and from the LGBT community and giving them hands-on training in producing their own VR content”.
Many participants were not only inspired by what Hobs Studio were doing for women but were also interested in continuing their learning at Hobs Studios after VRDI. James is passionate about getting more women involved in technology, “We believe the work that VR Diversity is doing is incredibly important. We want to ensure that everybody is invited to participate in the conversation, making sure women are included. social and economically.”
To find out more about how Hobs Studios are encouraging people from diverse backgrounds into technology watch the video below.