HTC Vive celebrated international Earth Day by unveiling the first recipients of its $10 million VR for Impact grant.
The programme looks to provide funding to VR content and technology that drives awareness of, and create a positive in impact in support of the UN sustainable development goals.
The chosen projects not only receive funding, but will made available on Viveport.
“We believe VR and the immersive experiences it delivers have the potential to positivity impact the biggest challenges that mankind faces,” HTC Vive president Rikard Steiber said.
“We welcome the first VR for Impact grant recipients who will introduce VR as a powerful tool in raising awareness for the 17 UN sustainable development goals, and what better way to mark Earth Day than to unveil projects with three unique visions for helping the planet.”
The three projects are:
SpaceVR is a VR platform that allows users to experience space through VR. Founded in 2015, the company is about to launch the world’s first VR satellite, the Overview 1, on Space X.
Ryan Holmes, CEO of SpaceVR, said:
“We share a vision with a Vive that VR and its power to immerse and affect viewers like no other medium can be used to make the world a better place.
“By launching the first VR satellite, we want to create the most vivid and visceral reminder yet the despite our individual trials and travails, we all live on this same fragile pale blue dot hurting through space.”
Tree is a critically acclaimed VR experience which uses haptic feedback to allow viewers to experience the fate of a rainforest tree.
The experience aims to show the realities of deforestation, both on the climate and the communities involved.
“The Tree VR experience has incited emotional, empowering reactions among a wide array of viewers,” Winslow Porter, co-director on Tree, said.
“During the final moments of Tree, a number of individuals have cried or shouted while in the headset and vowed afterward to take action. Together with VR for Impact, we want to reach people from all over the world to help make widespread global impact.”
The Extraordinary Honey Bee
The Extraordinary Honey Bee is a joint project with Haagen-Daz, Reach Agency and SPECTACLE examining the fall in bee populations.
“We believe in the transformative and educational power of VR and are excited to use this technology to bring the plight of the honey bee to life,” said Orchid Bertelsen, digital innovation lead at Nestlé USA .
“We are thrilled to partner with Vive, not only because of their innovative technology and valuable audience, but because of their ideals and shared belief of harnessing the power of VR to drive true impact.”