Yesterday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, HTC announced the VR For Impact program, a part of a new initiative to make positive changes in the world using virtual reality technology. VR For Impact aims to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and the program will have a budget of $10 million, all of which will be put to use in supporting content and technologies designed to create powerful experiences and transform our world for the better.
The United Nation’s Sustainable Development initiative intends to better our world in more than one way by 2030. The UN’s agenda for sustainable development aims to put an end to poverty and hunger, provide affordable and clean energy, clean water and sanitation, quality education, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, and much more. According to HTC, virtual reality technology has the ability to immerse people in unmatched experiences, and more importantly, the company believes that "VR can drive the world to act on global issues the human race is facing." HTC intends to steer VR technology into a direction which will benefit the world as the company will commit $10 million to content creators and industry partners wanting to create virtual reality experiences designed to improve education and raise awareness. According to Gabo Arora, creator of the United Nation’s VR Initiative and Creative Advisor of the World Food Programme, the HTC Vive coupled with its room-scale capability has the potential of being a great tool for immersive storytelling. In reality, however, there are countless stories in every crisis that remain untold, especially in war zones, but with the help of the VR For Impact initiative, the UN can explore new ways of telling important stories and push the UN’s sustainable development agenda further. The HTC Vive headset was used yesterday on Thursday in a demonstration at UN’s WEF tent, allowing participants to experience other people's stories more closely "as they face some of the humanity’s biggest challenges."
The VR For Impact initiative has a dedicated website where VR content creators can share their projects with the company for an opportunity to receive funding and make their ideas a reality. HTC will announce the first winning projects on Earth Day, April 22.