Crytek’s VR First initiative officially launched during the 2016 Game Developers Conference, and this non-profit academic movement is starting to gather steam. After forming the partnerships with initial companies, VR First initiative is expanding with industrial associations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
“Providing laboratories at Universities and Colleges where students can learn and create using state-of-the-art VR tools will be important to prepare the next generation of innovators who will make these technologies a part of our daily lives.” said Tom Coughlin, Director of the IEEE Region 6 and Chair of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Future Directions Committee.
Earlier this year, Frankfurt saw the first meeting of launch partners, where IEEE was invited to participate as a guest member. After a lot negotiations, Crytek was able to announce a strategic partnership with the IEEE. VR First revolves around three key program pillars, which targets to expand the number of VR First Lab locations to hundreds of universities worldwide.
Crytek took a page from Nvidia’s playbook when it came to entering the academia, counting on CUDA adoption through the course of time. That approach yielded significant success, and now CUDA is all but ubiquitous when it comes to GPU accelerated applications. By forming a VR First initiative, Crytek is driving the adoption of easy-to-use, high-end game engine (CRYENGINE V), with the previous engine being as a base for Amazon Lumberyard. By pushing the VR First into universities, and probably high-schools in the second phase, Crytek is building themselves a legacy.
“The IEEE Digital Senses Initiative is pleased to be a partner in the VR First initiative. We believe that virtual reality, as well as augmented reality, will have a great impact on all aspects of industry.” Yu Yuan, Chair of the IEEE Digital Senses Initiative.
“Collaborating with the IEEE dramatically broadens the potential reach of VR First, and emphasizes our commitment to ensuring the program makes a genuine impact on the landscape of VR research and development at the grassroots level.” said Ferhan Özkan, Crytek’s Senior Business Development Manager Partnerships & Alliances.
With the today’s announcement, that legacy is slowly becoming a reality. Receiving a backing by the IEEE sets a good beginning to standardize the whole program, designing a Virtual Reality laboratory program, creating a curriculum that will educate future creators of virtual experiences that span beyond gaming.