Oculus launches Mobile VR Jam 2015

February 26, 2015 // 11:53 a.m.

Tags: #competition #gear-vr #head-mounted-display #headset #head-up-display #hmd #hud

Facebook-owned virtual reality firm Oculus VR has announced a competition to encourage development of mobile-centric applications, putting up $1 million in cash prizes to encourage participation.

While Oculus VR was absent for the formation of the technology all those decades ago, it succeeded in capturing the public's interest like no other VR platform before it. The company smashed records on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to produce a developer's version of its Oculus Rift headset, and pulled in several rounds of private funding until social media giant Facebook snapped it up for a whopping $2 billion last year. The company has long maintained it sees the next stage of virtual reality to be in the mobile arena, partnering with Samsung to produce the Gear VR headset accessory for the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, and now it's making use of its vast resources to find software to support its ambitions.

The Oculus Mobile VR Jam 2015 is calling for developers to produce software for the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, and by extension any other mobile virtual reality platform based on or compatible with Oculus's technology, and is offering $1 million in prize money to encourage participation. A portion of the money is available for developers working on games, while the rest is for those working on 'VR experiences and apps.' The developer of the best game will receive $200,000; two runner's up will each receive $100,000; four silver-level competitors will get $50,000 each; and 10 bronze-level developers will each get $10,000. The prizes on offer for app and experience developers are somewhat lower: a grand prize of $100,000; two runner-up prizes of $50,000; two silver-level prizes of $30,000; and four bronze-level awards of $10,000.

Software submitted to the programme will be judged in an initial round that will see 80 per cent fall by the wayside; the remaining 20 per cent, or a minimum of 30 games and 20 apps or experiences, will be chosen for final judging with the winners being announced in June. 'The Mobile VR Jam is an opportunity to build groundbreaking new experiences in collaboration with other passionate VR pioneers, and win cash prizes for innovative uses of VR-specific interactions and pushing the medium forward,' crowed Oculus in its launch announcement. 'So fire up your imagination, get your team together, and show the world what you can do!'

Submissions open in April, with interested parties able to register in advance on the official website.
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