As a technology, Virtual Reality is gradually influencing the shape of the world. The evolution of education and removal of borders between physical and virtual environments represents a unique opportunity for education and industries alike. If that’s how it is, the next logical step is an industry initiative to channel that energy, providing a starting point in sense of equipment/tools and to some extend standardize and educate foundation for virtual reality development.
During the VRLA expo in Los Angeles, VR First released the results of their survey which showed that for the academic year 2016/17, over 15,000 students applied for VR programs, but they were faced with the demoralizing news that the average number of students per VR headset for development – is 51 students to a single VR HMD. The infographic shows that the VR First network includes 424 universities out of which 201 signed for the VR First Labs program. At the end of September, its network now numbers 509 academic institutions, and is in process of establishing 214 VR labs all over the world. The key focus of VR First is to provide free access to bleeding edge equipment so that it can stimulate the creation of new VR-enabled workforce.
Furthermore, it is good to see all the sparks getting a bridge to today’s business and technology leaders. Originally launched as Crytek’s internal initiative, VR First focuses on establishing VR First Labs in universities around the world. Latest expansion includes Asia for the first time, as well as five more countries. The full list of new academic partners includes the following institutions:
- Dania Academy of Higher Education (Denmark);
- Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
- Doña Ana Community College (USA)
- Hamburg University (Germany)
- Heidelberg University (Germany)
- HTW Berlin – University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
- International School Of Design – Rubika (France)
- Middle East Technical University (Turkey)
- NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands);
- Sogang University (South Korea)
- State University of New York at Oswego (USA)
- VIGAMUS Academy (Italy)
We will follow the progress around this initiative and see how it develop.