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Mike

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  1. Mike

    VR for Impact

     We’re thrilled to announce that, in support of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, we are starting a $10 million program, VR for Impact, dedicated to showing how VR can lead to positive impact and change. We know that VR provides a tremendous opportunity to develop and share ideas in impactful ways that can lead to change, and through VR for Impact, we will fund and support content and technologies that create the most powerful experiences to transform our world. The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Virtual Reality’s ability to immerse people into an experience is unmatched, and VR can drive the world to act on global issues the human race is facing. Through VR for Impact, we are committing $10 million to industry partners and content developers to create experiences that improve awareness, education, and lead to action. “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 Advisor to the World Food Programme. “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.” “There are millions of untold stories in every crisis, especially on the front lines where much of our work takes place,” said Corinne Woods, Director of Communications for the United Nations World Food Programme, which is utilizing the latest innovations in VR. “HTC’s support of new ways to tell important stories, and help in shaping innovation for the UN’s sustainable development agenda, will build on the impact of our work and take it in new and exciting directions.” “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, HTC. “HTC Vive will fund the best ideas using Virtual Reality that truly drive awareness and positive change in our world. We encourage all players in the VR ecosystem to join as only together can we drive real impact.” Starting today, VR for Impact will be calling for ideas at its website: https://www.vr4impact.com. The first winning projects will be announced on “Earth Day” April 22, 2017. On Thursday, January 19th at the United Nations WFP Tent, Vive will be demonstrating special VR experiences that allow participants to step inside the shoes of others as they face some of humanity’s biggest challenges and inspire you to see how storytelling, education and creativity of mankind can be reimagined.
  2.  VIVEPORT Developer Awards: Inaugural Nominees Please help us celebrate the individuals and teams behind Pearl from Google Spotlight Stories, The Body VR, Soundstage and AltspaceVR. Give ‘em a round of applause! We can’t hear you… now that’s more like it.  Pearl is our first nominee in the Experience category. It is a touching story of father and daughter; of chasing dreams; of the power of love in the gifts we hand down… and finding grace in the unlikeliest of places. Learn more about Pearl from the team at Google Spotlight Stories in our Q&A Experience Pearl by downloading it from Viveport  The Body VR gets our nod in the Explore category. VR has the power to make educational content resonate like none other, and the team at The Body VR makes learning about the human body both educational and entertaining. Learn more about The Body VR in our Q&A Explore The Body VR by downloading it from Viveport  SoundStage hits just the right note in the ‘Create’ category. Set in an ever-uplifting world inspired by the 80s, Soundstage enables anyone from the hobbyist to the professional DJ to make music. Hear more about SoundStage in our Q&A Rock out with SoundStage by downloading it from Viveport  AltspaceVR is pioneering in the Connect category and earns our nomination. From hanging with your friends, to enjoying a comedy show, to being part of the political movement via their partnership with NBC News, AltspaceVR is leading social VR. Learn more about AltspaceVR in our Q&A Enter Altspace and experience it for yourself by downloading it from Viveport These talented individuals and organizations are driving VR innovation and creating apps that inspire and entertain. The Viveport Developer Awards were established to recognize such accomplishments and over the next few weeks we will be sharing more nominees who are leading the way in virtual reality. There's still time to become part of the Viveport Developer Awards! Titles published on Viveport from August 25, 2016 through midnight Pacific Time on November 30, 2016, are eligible for consideration, subject to the terms and conditions of the contest. For more information, read our announcement blog post here. All nominees will be reviewed by a soon-to-be-revealed jury, and official winners will announced early 2017. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the first four nominees, or perhaps say congratulations to the developers behind them!
  3. Mike

    VDA Q&A: Pearl

     You’ve just been nominated for a Viveport Developer Award - how do you feel? We are thrilled that Pearl is touching people's hearts in VR and can't be more proud of our creative and technical teams. Where did the idea for Pearl come from? It is a story inspired by Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. A story about the gifts we hand down and their power to carry love. How big was your team and how long did it take to develop Pearl? 25-35 artists and engineers for about 10 months. Tell us something about Pearl that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport? If you sit in the back seat, you get a fundamentally different experience. The song was recorded in a traditional studio and on location, using a mixture of modern and vintage equipment as well as a tetrahedral microphone which captures sound in three dimensions. During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect? Edits and cuts in a VR narrative is challenging. Testing was done to help us understand how individuals view these shorts and what kinds of adjustments we would need to make in order to help people adjust to the changing environments. What do you hope people take away from Pearl? Narrative experiences in short form & long form have a future in VR. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers? Keeping the focus on story and a strong idea helped us keep perspective on the choices we made throughout the project. Experience Pearl for yourself, by downloading it from Viveport
  4. Mike

    VDA Q&A: The Body VR

     ​You’ve just been nominated for a Viveport Developer Award. How do you feel? We are absolutely thrilled to have been nominated! It’s cool to be recognized for creativity in such an embryonic field of technology, where there are no norms or restrictions, and everything is new and constantly changing. ​Where did the idea for The Body VR come from? We were brainstorming ideas for a VR jam and remembered the episode of The Magic Schoolbus, where Ms. Frizzle took the class on a trip inside Ralphie’s body. We thought it would be an incredible story to experience in VR. ​How big was your team and how long did it take to develop? It took the five of us about a year to develop. We had two artists, one programmer, one scientist, and an audio engineer working together. ​Tell us something about The Body VR that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport? It’s probably hard to comprehend the full range of experiences and applications we’re addressing through just one single, specific exposure. We’re interested in entertainment, education, and training across a wide range of human organs and systems, and are providing a spectrum of design, development, and marketing services to do so. ​During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect? As we were designing the environments, we were shocked at how much they came to life when we tried them in VR. When we first began giving demos we noticed some people would look up at the environments in awe and completely miss the educational diagrams. What do you hope people take away from the experience? Our goal was to show the educational potential of virtual reality, with the hope that we can ignite the curiosity and imagination in people that comes with learning and discovery. VR can take away people’s fears and inhibitions that sometime come from attempting to learn complex subject matter. ​What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers? Embrace the team concept, and be willing to listen and learn from your colleagues. And, be persistent! The Body VR is available to download from Viveport.
  5. Mike

    VDA Q&A: SoundStage

     You’ve just been nominated for a Viveport Developer Award. How do you feel? Excited and honored to be included among so many great VR applications! I've been blown away by the creative tools developed for the Vive so far and psyched to experience what comes next. Where did the idea for Soundstage come from? If you look at old rock concerts, you’ll see these HUGE synthesizers that the musicians connect together to make electronic sounds. These instruments are literally enveloping the player. SoundStage attempts to capture the feel of those epic music machines then take it to the next level with tools only possible in a virtual environment. You can hook up your sounds to the electro-maracas or drive your keyboard with a 3D theremin. All in a world inspired by the airbrush paintings and computer graphics of the 80s. When I was a kid during that time, this is how I’d imagine making music would look “in the 21st century.” How big was your team and how long did it take to develop? The team is just me for now. I started the first protoype in March of this year (2016). Tell us something about Soundstage that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport? The developer is not a musician! Everyone assumes I make music, but the last instrument I played was an analog synthesizer in college. During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect? Well, the user will always surprise you. In the case of SoundStage, I didn't realize how rarely new users think of "depth." Most folks who haven't experienced room-scale VR think of digital experiences as 2D. When you ask the user to interact with that third dimension, it takes them awhile to realize they have the same fidelity of control they have in "real" space. What do you hope people take away from the experience? For musicians, a new mental model for music making and sound generation. For non-musicians, I hope they feel empowered to make something rad. For VR enthusiasts, interaction designs ideas they can apply to their own projects. Do you have a wish list of people you’d like to experience Soundstage? Any musical acts or artists? It would be great to get more musicians into SoundStage, especially artists like Imogen Heap, who explore technologies as part of their creative process. I'd also be curious to hear feedback from artists like Brian Eno or David Byrne. Folks who approach music and creativity with these unique, world-class perspectives. And of course, just getting some EDM and Synthwave artists in there would be good! What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers? To quote Pablo Picasso, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” Keep at it!
  6. Mike

    VDA Q&A: AltspaceVR

     You’ve just been nominated for a Viveport Developer Award. How do you feel? We are thrilled to be nominated for a Viveport Developer Award, and particularly to be the first nominee in the Connect category! Of all of the possibilities of VR, we are most excited about its potential as a new communications medium that lets people connect from wherever they are in the world and really feel like they are together. Where did the idea for AltspaceVR come from? When we were experimenting with an early demo in 2013 we realized how much we actually felt as if we were together, even when we were miles, or in some instances thousands of miles apart. It became clear that VR could help people connect in ways that are not possible otherwise. Our mission became to develop VR as a new communications medium. How big is your team and how long did it take to develop? We are nearly 40 people working from locations worldwide and operating 24/7. What goes into producing a live event for AltspaceVR, such as a Reggie Watts stand up session or an Al Roker appearance? For these events we are have been bringing experimental formats and new technology together for the first time, live in front of an audience. For example, FrontRow™, the first technology to allow unlimited participants simultaneously in VR, had its debut the night Reggie attracted a record-setting audience. For NBC News Virtual Democracy Plaza, we recreated an existing, complex urban environment and went live with a series of new program formats and new applications for our feature set. Meanwhile, there are a myriad of other variables such as hardware and software in VR is changing constantly and we seem to get updates at the worst possible time. Operations, Engineering, Customer Relations, and the whole company needs to be alert and working together because the show must go on! Tell us something about AltspaceVR that we wouldn’t know from just experiencing it on Viveport? If you click on AltspaceVR in Viveport and read the description you see that we have highlighted multiple different activities. But this does not show the full breadth what is available--the largest selection in social VR. You can join others for NBC News coverage of the US Election or Reggie Watts comedy events; play card games such as Holograms Against Humanity; or tabletop games such as Dungeons & Dragons; listen to a DJ heat up a cool club environment, compete in AntiHedral, a new 1st person shooter game, or just hang out and watch videos. New events and activities are added constantly. During the development process, did anything surprise you along the way you didn’t expect? We continue to be surprised by how great the users are. We are developing and experimenting rapidly--things change overnight. The users have been extremely understanding and helpful if something doesn’t go as planned, needs improvement or change. We simply could not have made the progress as fast as we have without the users working with us and helping us to learn. What differentiates AltspaceVR from other social or communication platforms? AltspaceVR is different from other social VR offerings in several ways. We are focused on people connecting with others to do things they would ordinarily do in real life, such as play Dungeons and Dragons, see a comedy show, or just hang out and watch some videos. We provide the widest range of activities available in VR and expect this to continue to grow. And, since we want to maximize access between friends, we are cross-platform: HTC Vive of course, but also Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. Anything you can share as to upcoming features for the platform or marquee partnerships like Virtual Democracy Plaza with NBC News? NBC News is a major media company using social VR to engage with their audience and this is breaking new ground for their industry as well as ours. VR represents a new communications medium for NBC News to reach their viewers. And Virtual Democracy Plaza brings a new type of content (political, election news) and new program formats to VR. This could appeal to new segments of the population, and expand programming in the VR market. What do you hope people take away from AltspaceVR overall? Relationships are about shared experiences. VR can be a unifying technology, letting people overcome boundaries to connect and really feel as if they are together, no matter where they are. What’s one piece of advice you’d give to other developers? Experiment, try stuff, don’t hold back! We are all benefiting from the developers’ go-for-it attitude. The VR market offers tremendous potential, but it needs developers with a pioneering spirit.
  7. We’re just as eager to see your experiences as you are, so we’d like to help. We’ve recently released three Unity plug-ins designed to speed up and enrich the Vive development process. They’re all free and downloadable from the Unity Asset Store: Vive Input Utility 1.4.7 Download: http://u3d.as/uF7 This plug-in is a sophisticated input wrapper that: Makes it easy to get button and event tracking data from Vive devices Takes advantage of the Unity Event System for laser pointers while adding a custom stabilization and damping effect Eliminates the need to write redundant code to manage Vive devices Provides the ability to interact with UGUI using laser pointers MediaDecoder 1.0.1 Download: http://u3d.as/usf The MediaDecoder is a high performance video player decoding plugin that: Makes it easy to create a VR video player Supports playing 2D, S3D, 360 and 360-degree stereo video Performance optimizations can enable 8K video decoding above 90 FPS Uses FFmpeg 3.0.1 library Works with many implementations, not just Vive-specific ones Free to use Vive Stereo Rendering Toolkit 1.0.0 Download: http://u3d.as/A4F Use the Vive Stereo Rendering Toolkit to: Create parallax effects for mirrors, portals, security cameras or other items that would otherwise appear flat in VR Drag-and-drop components to create stereoscopic rendering effects in a few minutes Achieve more immersive VR experiences Have fun! 
The Vive Team
  8.  First Viveport Developer Awards Nominations Announced Today, we’re thrilled to announce the first four nominees for the Viveport Developer Awards (VDAs). The nominees are: Altspace VR, by Altspace VR Pearl, by Google Spotlight Stories Soundstage, by Hard Light Labs The Body VR, by The Body VR Congratulations to these developers for creating these fantastic titles, and raising the quality bar within VR applications. If you haven’t installed these great titles already on Viveport, check them out via the links above. We’re sure you’ll enjoy these amazing destinations as much as we have. To ensure that these and your other purchases show up in your library, make sure to install and setup the Vive Software (Download it here) which will also install the Viveport Desktop App on your PC. (If you have further questions on how to find Viveport content on your PC, read this FAQ.) Going forward, every two weeks we’ll be revealing new nominations for the Viveport Developer Awards in our primary award categories of Explore, Create, Connect and Experience. We also have a Community Choice category, so make sure to rate and review your favorite apps on Viveport!  New destinations via Viveport We believe that Viveport is where you begin your journey to new VR destinations. Our mission is to create a platform agnostic home for the very best in VR content that goes beyond games. With that in mind, this week we’re welcoming many new titles onto Viveport, including Allumette, Arcade Artist, Discovery VR and VICE Cut Off, amongst others. Hundreds of thousands of customers have enjoyed Viveport apps since our launch, and we have been getting a lot of great feedback on new features and improvements. (If you haven’t joined our forums yet, take the time to do so and make your voice heard!) As a community you asked for more payment options, and so this week we’re rolling out payment support for PayPal. We have lots more improvements, fixes and tweaks that our engineering team is working hard on. You should see more improvements and features being added to Viveport every week. Thank you again for your support - we’re only just getting started. We’ll see you in VR! The Viveport Team
  9.  Your journey begins at VIVEPORT™ Over the past few months, our teams in San Francisco, Seattle, Taipei, Beijing and London have been working closely with developers and content creators worldwide on a private beta of Viveport, the app store for virtual reality. Today, we are proud to announce the global launch of Viveport to the virtual reality community. Building on the fast growth and success of virtual reality gaming, Viveport features immersive experiences across additional categories where you can explore new worlds, create things, connect with friends and experience stories in new, immersive ways. We believe Viveport is the place where you will begin your journey into new virtual reality experiences. Fans in over 30 countries will join us on a fantastic voyage, as they get to experience amazing VR content published by the best creators in the industry. The Viveport app store has been live in China since April, and we are happy to have the opportunity to introduce you to more than a dozen VR titles that, for the first time, are available outside of Asia. And there’s more on the way in the upcoming weeks and months. As part of this release, we are introducing Viveport Premieres–titles launching first on Viveport. These titles include Everest VR, Google Spotlight Stories' Pearl, Lifeliqe, Stonehenge VR, The Music Room, an all-new edition of theBlu, and more. It's been truly inspiring to see that so many developers want to publish their content on Viveport with us. To celebrate our launch, during the first 48-hours you'll be able to buy marquee titles like theBlu, Mars Odyssey, The Music Room, and Firebird - La Peri, among others, for a special celebration price of $1. Start your journey today at www.viveport.com to check out these offerings: Viveport Premieres: Experience the best new and updated content from top VR creators. 48-Hour Launch Celebration: Stuff your library with experiences for $1 each, for the first 48 hours only. Vive Home: Customize your personal space with skins, objects, web browser widgets etc. Rikard Steiber President - Viveport
  10. Hello everyone! With the launch of Viveport, the app store for virtual reality, we're also bringing our Vive community out of beta... and into the light. (Don't stare too hard.) You might notice a few changes. Perhaps the most important is that you'll now need to create an HTC account to login. (For more information, read this post.) Apart from that, our structure has also changed. For developers, we've created new, private forums for you. Here you can talk with other creators, as well as members of the Vive and Viveport teams, and give us feedback directly about publishing on Viveport. If you were previously registered as a developer on the beta version of the forums and need access, send a PM to . For those of you who are happy to enjoy VR in Vive and aren't developing (...yet?) we have new forums for you, too. Explore, take a look around and let us know what you think. We're looking forward to getting to know everyone. We'll see you in VR, The Viveport Team
  11. Hello all, Today we are making some big, important changes to this community. Strap in (your headset, that is). First of all, we are creating entirely new discussion forums. The current forums are about to be set to read-only, and we will be migrating important topics (threads) over to the new forums. Thank you all for your contributions to the existing forums - we hope to see all of you in our brand new forums! Second, as of today we are enabling HTC's single sign-on for logging in here. If you are a new member, you will create an HTC account and then use that to sign into the forums. (On initial sign-in, you will be asked to provide a username.) If you are an existing member, you will also need to create an HTC account, and a new username to go with it. If you want to 'reclaim' a previously existing username, please send a private message to Viveport_Team (this account) detailing your existing username, and we will help you out. We've got brand new features to roll out and - wait for it - new staff members dedicated to this community to introduce. So hold tight, we're about to step into a new world of virtual reality! - ViveportTeam
  12. You could always reach out to our customer service via: https://www.htcvive.com/us/support/contactus/
  13. Yes. Once you change your language for Vive software, your Vive VR language experience will also be changed. However, that doesn’t change your Vive VR content experience. Content language experience is decided by developer / publisher. Viveport doesn’t have the right to change that.
  14. Yes, you could launch Vive software and go to Settings. Tap on the drop-down menu to change the language for your Vive software.
  15. Vive software will make sure that you have the most up-to-date version. However, if you are experiencing VR at the time the update is available, it will not interrupt you and install the update. Instead, it will pop up a notification message asking you if you would like to get the update when you are done with VR experience. To always have the most up-to-date Vive software could prevent you from having the unexpected problem caused by the incompatible driver or Windows update.
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