Oculus VR launches "VR for Good" initiative

Posted at 8:02 AM, May 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-17 09:24:15-04

Virtual reality isn't all just gaming and entertainment.

Oculus VR, the virtual reality technology company that developed the VR headset known as Oculus Rift, wants people to know the immersive experience can also be used to inspire social change. 

That's the idea behind their new initiative: VR for Good. The movement, they noted on their official blog, is starting as two film programs.

The first one, called the 360 Filmmakers Challenge, will partner select high schools in San Francisco with filmmakers. Students will learn to create short 360 videos about their communities.

The kids will also have access to all of the gear they need for their films. After six weeks, their work will debut on Facebook and in Oculus Video. 

The second program is called 360 Bootcamp for Nonprofits.

This summer, 10 filmmakers will team up with 10 nonprofits to help highlight causes through videos designed for virtual reality.

Oculus referenced Clouds Over Sidra as an example of 360 VR video used as a tool to raise awareness. 

The company's nonprofit program will start as a two-day bootcamp at Facebook headquarters. 

The selected nonprofits will be supplied with all of the necessary gear-they'll also receive post production support, a travel budget, and mentorship.

The videos created will be showcased at Sundance 2017, according to Oculus. Nonprofits and rising filmmakers can apply to be part of this part of the initiative when applications go live May 30.

More details here. 

Oculus says on the blog they hope to expand the VR for Good platform with more programs this year.