Universities face a real challenge to adopt virtual reality (VR) over the next few years, claims a games developer and the firm behind tech initiative VR First.
A Crytek survey of 201 universities has found that ‘a remarkable number of academic institutions around the world are interested in creating programs for VR development, but are currently underequipped to deliver on their ambitions’.
"The interest in VR is growing very fast. Since the launch of VR First earlier this year, over 400 universities have expressed an interest in VR and 201 of them have officially applied for a VR First lab," VR First said in a statement.
The research also showed that 88 per cent of the 201 universities surveyed are either planning or already offer a VR course, while on average there are less than two headsets available to each of these universities.
Ferhan Özkan, senior business development manager at Crytek, said: “According to our predictions, the VR industry is likely to require many more skilled development graduates than it will be producing in the next years.
"At the same time our data clearly shows that universities are under-equipped to implement educational goals and satisfy the VR industry’s demand. With the VR First initiative we’re addressing this problem, and we invite leading lights in the industry to contribute to this collective approach towards the empowerment of students and developers.”
Since January this year, 14 universities from the US, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe have joined the VR First program.
The scheme aims to support grassroots VR development by establishing VR Labs on university campuses, each one offering students easy access to development solutions like Crytek’s CryEngine and state-of-the art VR hardware from technology partners.