Game-changing ?virtual reality? tech starts to make ripples in PH

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With virtual reality (VR) already becoming popular overseas, its local proponents are now hoping this game-changing technology can trigger the same enthusiasm in the local market.

Participants in the "Manila Vive Jam"  conduct a trial for test of different virtual apps, games, and experiences
Participants in the “Manila Vive Jam” conduct a trial for test of different virtual apps, games, and experiences

To further popularize the technology, tech provider PLDT, along with VR Philippines, recently held at PLDT Innolab in Mandaluyong City a collaborative event dubbed “Manila Vive Jam”.

The confab drew participants — ranging from university students to freelance and professional app developers ? who all wanted to learn and collaborate on creating immersive VR applications and experiences using room-scale tracking and natural input technology through the HTC Vive and StreamVR platform.

The four teams were tasked to create an app, game, or experience within a 24-hour limit. Maximizing the time allotted in creating immersive VR applications, each team presented their creations.

A group of students from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) presented a horror-inspired game called, ?The Cabin,? while another batch of PUP students created another game called, ?Shark Hunt.?

The team of freelance VR app developers created an experience called ?Earthquake VR Stimulator,? which was set in a photo gallery and designed to respond accordingly in an earthquake situation.

Winning the People?s Choice Award was the VR game ?Fill and Run!? made by professional VR app developers. The game was inspired by the idea of having to really do something with the hands in order to mimic the natural way of doing things from the real world into the virtual one.

PLDT research and innovation technology specialist Petronilo Arnaldo said he has high hopes for the VR community. ?We are at an age in which a game-changing innovation such as virtual reality can truly be the next pillar of technological advancements,? he said.

PLDT ICT research and development VP Joselito Limjap emphasized, meanwhile, the importance of partnerships with young aspiring start-ups and individuals who are passionate about their craft.

?When it comes to innovation, we have to collaborate,? he said. ?PLDT Innolab is our venue for collaboration. It reaches out to different enterprises and innovators with different niche markets.?

VR Philippines founder Christopher David noted the event?s turnout was a good mix of participants, allowing themselves to learn each other?s creations.

?We are thankful for everything that PLDT has provided us ? from housing our event in Innolab to providing data connectivity, it has truly helped in making this event a success.?

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