Virtual Reality

HTC commits $10 million for VR humanitarianism

HTC commits $10 million for VR...
HTC Vive's VR for Impact program awards developers who develop VR experiences that support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
HTC Vive's VR for Impact program awards developers who develop VR experiences that support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
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HTC Vive's VR for Impact program awards developers who develop VR experiences that support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals
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HTC Vive's VR for Impact program awards developers who develop VR experiences that support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Today, HTC announced a new "VR for Impact" program, an effort meant to excel virtual reality's potential as a humanitarian tool. The company has pledged US$10 million for industry partners and developers whose efforts support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

HTC is the manufacturer behind the HTC Vive headset, one of the leaders in consumer VR. Thanks to its partnership with the software and gaming company Valve, there is already an extensive library of content for the HTC Vive. However, the content is largely entertainment-focused and educational experiences are less common. The VR for Impact program represents a focused effort to make VR a true change maker.

Based on existing VR applications, this goal is entirely plausible. For example, the app Within is already partnering with major media companies to present immersive, evocative VR news and documentary content. Healthcare, training, and self-help tools are also emerging. As a whole, VR is poised to become a widespread computing platform, far beyond gaming.

The UN's Sustainable Development Goals encompass humanitarian goals in a variety of areas, such as poverty, hunger, environmental sustainability and reduced inequality. Through the VR for Impact program, developers have a wide range of potential goals to work toward.

VR for Impact is recruiting potential development partners through its website. The first round of winning projects will be announced on April 22 (Earth Day) 2017.

Source: HTC Vive blog

3 comments
Racqia Dvorak
Well, who am I to judge how other people waste their money.
S Michael
This is a waist of money.... and resources. The UN is a dark pit of wasted money and corruption.
Daishi
HTC solving poverty and world hunger with a VR push reads like satire. I think many people would literally get more out of that $10 million dollars burning it to keep warm. They really couldn't find a more meaningful way to spend $10 million? They want to "empower more people to effect global change, give voices to the most vulnerable and provide access to new possibilities for the most marginalized.” Look at platforms like Wikipedia, youtube, and khanacademy. They have educated billions of people across cultural and political borders and they don't in any way set out to target "the most marginalized". Why do "the most marginalized" need custom one-off solutions that usually end up being huge wastes of money? If they used the money to seek work out an inexpensive telepresence platform that supports VR head tracking they might have a real product to show for it that has useful implications. You constantly see well meaning efforts like this fail while it's always commercially viable products and solutions that always seem to end up winning out in the end even for the "most marginalized". This is why Android devices succeeded in the 3rd world where One Laptop Per Child failed. This scenario plays out over and over again and we refuse to learn from mistakes here. $10 million, down the pit it goes. Bye.