Importance of Outreach

In 2017, Mark Zuckerberg made the bold proclamation that he wants to get 1 billion people into VR, but one year later he admitted he’s not even 1% into that goal. As VR continues to become the talk of hype conversations, the use of established VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive are limited to spaces who can afford access to the expensive equipment needed to run them.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/news/zuckerberg-still-wants-to-get-1b-people-into-vr-but-itll-take-a-while/

For the Outreach team here at VRAB, one of our main goals is to help bring access to VR headsets to communities that can’t actively afford them so that they too can still experience and take part in the hype talk of a VR future. For the past two semesters, this has taken form in the organization of weekly VR demos at the Berkeley Public Library where we have slowly introduced people of all ages to popular games and current applications of entertainment in VR. On top of that, we take part in showcases and events at UC Berkeley where we demo applications made by various VRAB project teams and the student-led Decal that introduces Berkeley students to VR-development.

A family visiting Jacobs Open House last year try out VRAB’s Berkeley Campanelli Demo.

As the talk of VR continues to grow, Outreach at VRAB continues to try to find new ways to bring people applications in VR for both entertainment and beyond. Whether this takes the form of more demos or events, we are always looking for help in coming up with new ideas to bring the excitement of VR to people inside and outside Berkeley. After all, the first step in getting VR into the mainstream is allowing people both young and old to dive into their first VR experience.

Berkeley parent visiting the Jacobs Open House last year tryouts a demo created by the VRAB Decal.