Google has now officially opened up the applications process for participants in 2018's Jump Start VR program, giving creators around the world a chance to create their own VR films. For those who may not already be aware of the program, Google effectively uses Jump Start as a platform to loan VR filming equipment out to content creators. This is the second year the program has run and, so far, more than 100 creators have taken part. Those are used to create VR films, first and foremost, but can also be used to create interactive experiences and Google encourages the creation of Daydream content. Applications will be accepted through June 11. So those who are already well aware of the program may want to jump to the button at the bottom to get the details and an application turned in.
With regards to exactly what selected participants are given access to, Google ships out quite the bundle. Of course, the kit includes a YI HALO VR camera – which retails at around $17,000 – along with a top ring cover and Pelican-branded case, along with an internal battery for the camera, charging cables, and adapters. But that wouldn't be much of a kit if they didn't also receive no fewer than 20 64GB SanDisk Industrial micro SD cards, two spare cameras for the YI HALO, a high-speed card reader, and a Bluetooth remote. That kit can be used to create as many projects as the participant likes, as long as they don't loan the equipment out. The only real caveats to the program are primarily down to how content is published and when projects shot with the kit are published. Namely, the camera and other gear also need to be returned by August 22 and content needs to be published on YouTube, Daydream, or both by the end of 2018. Creators are free to publish the content elsewhere, as well, once it's been published to either of those platforms. Google pays to ship both ways for the program, so there's almost no burden on content visionaries except for the above-mentioned caveats.
It goes without saying that the purpose of the project is to get content creators involved in VR, without having to make the substantial investment for equipment. That, as a result, should help grow the media platform and help it move more into the mainstream. Whether or not that is successful has yet to be seen but Google is, at least, making a laudable effort. For more information and to get signed up, interested parties just need to click the button below.