HTC eyes pos­i­tive im­pact of VR to pro­mote UN de­vel­op­ment goals

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By MASI masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

HTC Corp has al­lo­cated $10 mil­lion in fund­ing to drive vir­tual re­al­ity con­tent and tech­nolo­gies that will cre­ate a pos­i­tive im­pact and change in sup­port of the United Na­tion’s Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals by 2030.

The VR For Im­pact ini­tia­tive, launched in Jan­uary, is de­signed to en­cour­age more de­vel­op­ers to work on VR-en­abled ideas that can help erad­i­cate poverty around the world, es­tab­lish peace, pro­vide pros­per­ity, and pro­tect the planet’s ecosys­tem and wildlife.

The project re­volves around the idea that VR is a pow­er­ful medium to help pro­mote em­pa­thy for oth­ers. VR, which can cre­ate an im­mer­sive, 360de­gree dig­i­tal world, al­lows users to ex­pe­ri­ence things from an­other per­son’s per­spec­tive, broad­en­ing their per­spec­tive of the sub­ject in ques­tion.

“The po­ten­tial for vir­tual re­al­ity to help us learn, un­der­stand and trans­form the world is lim­it­less. VR for Im­pact is a chal­lenge to the VR com­mu­nity and con­tent de­vel­op­ers across the globe to help drive aware­ness and to solve the big­gest chal­lenges of mankind,” said Cher Wang, chair­woman and CEO of HTC.

“HTC Vive will fund the best ideas us­ing Vir­tual Re­al­ity that truly drives aware­ness and pos­i­tive change in our world. We en­cour­age all play­ers in theVRe­cosys­tem to join as only to­gether can we drive real im­pact,” she added.

The Tai­wan-based com­pany has launched its HTC Vive VR head­sets to help pop­u­lar­ize the cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy. With the VR for Im­pact fund, HTChopes to in­spire moreVR ex­pe­ri­ences and films that touch on im­por­tant social top­ics that align with the United Na­tions’ Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals im­i­ta­tive.

“HTC is a pi­o­neer in rec­og­niz­ing the work the UN has done to pro­mote social change through vir­tual re­al­ity,” said Gabo Arora, cre­ator of the UN’s VR Ini­tia­tive and cre­ative ad­viser to theWorld Food Pro­gram.

“The Vive’s room-scale VR ca­pa­bil­ity can be a pow­er­ful tool for im­mer­sive sto­ry­telling, ed­u­ca­tion, and train­ing; their sup­port will em­power more peo­ple to ef­fect global change, give voices to the most vul­ner­a­ble and pro­vide ac­cess to new pos­si­bil­i­ties for the most marginal­ized,” he added.

HTC will an­nounce the first win­ning projects for VR For Im­pact on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.

Its US peer Ocu­lus also launched a sim­i­lar ini­tia­tive, VR­forGood in­May, to en­cour­age moreVR­con­tents that can make the world a bet­ter place.

HTC is a pi­o­neer in rec­og­niz­ing the work the UN has done to pro­mote social change through vir­tual re­al­ity.”

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A girl demon­strates the HTC Vive vis­ual re­al­ity (VR) head­set dur­ing the an­nual Com­pu­tex com­puter ex­hi­bi­tion in Taipei.

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