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Industry Launches 'Virtual Reality' Society

14 Jul, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Group to focus on best practices, standardization for VR content creation and delivery

In an effort to accelerate virtual reality content production, the Advanced Imaging Society (AIS) has formed The VR Society, a new division supported by Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., AMD, DreamWorks Animation, Sony Entertainment, Sony Music, Deluxe, Nokia, Dolby, StereoD, Intel and Phillips, among others.

Jim Chabin, president of AIS, will serve in the same capacity at The VR Society. Mark Lieber will be head of VR. The staff also includes Nick Urbom, SVP of marketing and awards, Irena Cronin, editorial director and AIS SVP Karen Tobin.

The group’s mission is to provide research, hands-on seminars, and best practice recommendations to help facilitate the creation of high-quality VR content beyond the video game market.

“For some time, our members and industry colleagues have indicated a need to prepare for and build virtual reality’s potential,” AIS chairman Mike DeValue said in a statement. “As with any new content platform, we will need a collaborative and sustained industry-wide effort to meet the ‘premium experience’ expectations of consumers.”

Next to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, VR is considered a format of the future for home entertainment. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment earlier this year released the first commercial virtual reality endeavor — The Martian VR Experience.

In an April survey of 1,000 respondents conducted by AIS, 72% of adults 18-29, 70% adults 30-44 and 62% adults 45-60 said they were “excited about experiencing VR.” More than 65% indicated they were “more excited about VR” compared with HDTV and 3D at similar early stages of development.

“We have never seen a new medium with the potential and power to excite and delight consumers like VR,” said Roy Taylor, VP of content alliances for AMD and a member of VR Society’s board of governors. “By bringing the rapidly growing community of brilliant content creators together with our ‘VR technologists’ and our experienced consumer research specialists, we are confident that we can accelerate the success of this industry.”

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