VR for Impact, HTC Vive’s $10 million program supporting VR projects that can have a positive impact on any of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, announced their first three grant winners of 2017 today in commemoration of Earth Day. The winners are SpaceVR, Tree, and The Extraordinary Honey Bee.
We covered SpaceVR last week; it is the first virtual reality satellite launching into space later this year. Tree, is fully immersive perspective on rainforest deforestation in which you experience life as a tree with intense haptic features, and The Extraordinary Honey Bee, is a joint project with Häagen-Dazs®, Reach Agency and SPECTACLE to raise awareness about dwindling bee populations.
“We believe virtual reality and the immersive experiences it delivers have the potential to positively impact the biggest challenges that mankind faces,” said Rikard Steiber, President of Viveport, HTC Vive. “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.”
These projects all showcase unique visions for how VR can address the UN’s set of defined goals for the planet such as “Climate Action” and “Zero Hunger.” Announced at the World Economic Forum 2017, Vive’s VR for Impact is a multi-year program and will continue to announce grant winners as the year unfolds. All projects support the UN goals: a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Winslow Porter, co-director on Tree and co-founder of New Reality Company said, “the Tree VR experience has incited emotional, empowering reactions among a wide array of viewers. 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.”
All projects that receive funding by VR for Impact will be available on Viveport, HTC’s app store for VR.