It’s a match made in clouds. In an attempt to promote both VR and the world’s tallest tower, HTC partners up with Burj Khalifa to launch a unique challenge to Virtual Reality developers. Participation includes creating the unique VR content with Khalifa as its thematic center. The participants will have exclusive access to material content, while the winner will be posted on Viveport library. The official device for the Burj Khalifa VR challenge is HTC Vive Pro.
The motor of the Burj Khalifa VR challenge is Dubai Future Accelerators, while the platform is provided by HTC. But the brain behind it is UAE, one of leaders in Middle Eastern technological advancement. The challenge is issued as a means to prompt creativity and innovation, both serving to build up Dubai as a global trend. ‘The Dubai Future Foundation’, its CEO H.E. Khalfan Belhoul said after a due mention of the ruling Sheikh, ‘aims to create an environment which encourages and welcomes innovation and creative thinkers to further position Dubai as a hub for innovation and a testbed for emerging technologies’. The challenge is open for all developers willing to take it up.
Those that decide to participate will get exclusive access to video material and Burj Khalifa itself. The material includes high-definition footage ready to be molded into a VR experience. Area 2071 incubator center and VR hub will also be open to the developers. To get accepted, they have to send applications along with their profile and some samples of previous VR work. Once accepted, the contestants will create storyboards of their projects. The schedule is planned out so that we have a winner by the next spring, who will then go out and deliver the promised goods.
Burj Khalifa VR challenge is a testament to Virtual Reality’s acceptance across wide range of industries. The official VR partner is HTC Vive, whose head of MEA confirmed the lure of their platform: ‘It (VR) has the ability to unleash human imagination in entirely new ways. Strategic content and brand partnerships are helping to bring more exciting VR experiences to the mainstream’. As such, it could hardly pass unnoticed by the UAE, always on the hunt for the newer and better. And with Dubai being a global trend now, the Dubai Future Foundation has found an easy and elegant way for further promotion.
Elegant, because as Saeed Al Falasi from DFF says, the Burj Khalifa VR challenge ‘provides a healthy competition in the VR ecosystem’ for which they ‘look forward to creating a next level visitor experience through the use of VR technology and creative VR content’. It is therefore a win-win-win situation. HTC Vive gets a round of marketing laud, official Dubai the recognition in the high-tech circles. And we get, hopefully, some fantastic VR content. Not to mention the challenge winners. May the best win.