When signing-up to the VR Diversity Initiative (VRDI) participants might often come in being sceptical of virtual reality (VR). However in general, at the end of the day most participants come away with feeling inspired, curious and driven to start their own immersive tech company.
VRFocus spoke to several participants to get some feedback on their experiences:
Sarah Ticho, Founder of Hatsumi explains: “I’ve gone to about a million events and I could list off all these projects I really love but the real barrier for me has actually been the knitty gritty, how do I code this? How do I learn Unity? Stuff like this is actually incredibly helpful because it feels like this invisible wall between me making the thing that I really want to make.” Ticho was part of the VR Unity workshop and said the VR Diversity Initiative gave her the opportunity to not only learn the skills that she wanted but also network with people within the industry as well.
Graeme Gerard Halliday, Visual Artist says that he’s working together with Hobs Studio to bring his skills of drawing in a continuous line into 3D printing with the help of VR sculpture drawings in Google Tilt Brush. Interested in pushing the boundaries, Halliday took part in the mixed reality (MR) workshop hoping to he would gain insights, skills and understanding to bring perhaps use that with his sculptures and art pieces as well.
Kasia Prus, a freelance filmmaker is passionate about VR and feels inspired the new medium: ” I try to learn as much as I can so I can use it in my work.” She explains that her research was all about the female gaze and cinematic language, taking away the rules of cinematography and being at the start of a new language she finds refreshing and incredibly exciting.
When Nina Salomons asked whether VR would potentially be a future career choice after participating in the VR Diversity Initiative, Michael Tison, part of the Rugby Portobello Trust commented: “Walking down this morning, I would have never ever have thought that, but slowly throughout the day when you were saying things, my mind started to race into what my interests are and how VR could effect people in those areas. So definitely.” He uses his skills in football coaching and working together with autistic children in East London as an example of how he could use VR to potentially help them.
Steve G wants to start up his own immersive tech company and was blown away about the use case of the Microsoft Hololens. “I wish people could actually see what I’ve seen today, you can see the potential. I quite like to do this, but today the 360 video just blew my mind completely.”
The VR Diversity Initiative plan to take the initiative around the UK hoping to reach more people outside of London. Their website has also launched. All future VR Diversity Initiative workshops will be announced through VRFocus, the VRDI website as well as the VR Diversity Initiative Twitter. This Initiative was supported by the Realities Centre, BlueHire, The Case Farm, Barclays Eagle Lab and Innovate UK.