Various companies including EA and Oculus VR have joined up to form a sort of coalition to lay the foundations for VR: the Immersive Technology Alliance.
Virtual reality has a multitude of practical applications, but from a gaming standpoint, it represents a new and exciting era. The platform itself is still in its early stages and still has a rocky path ahead of before it’s ready for a widespread launch, however that’s exactly why the Immersive Technology Alliance has been formed.
The ITA is a combine made up of a myriad of key companies including major players in the VR game like Technical Illusions (the team behind the CastAR) and Oculus VR, the pioneers that sparked events with their Oculus Rift headset.
Interestingly enough this new formation is a revised amalgamation of an earlier group known as the Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Alliance, featuring many of the same companies involved with the past alliance.
Electronic Arts has thrown in with ITA, bringing its considerable stake in the gaming industry to the table. Other interesting entrants include Epson (whose prestige lies with printers and ink rather than games) and Panasonic. Along with Harvard Univesity, The University of Onatrio’s Institute of Technology has also joined ITA’s ranks, boosting the firm’s resources quite a bit.
The list of ITA members is included below, but it’s expected to grow as the platform evolves:
- Oculus VR
- GameFace Labs
- Big Blue Bubble
- I’m in VR
- YEI Technology
- Jon Peddie Research
- Crew Communicatons
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- Digital Extremes
- Virtuix Omni
It’s worth mentioning that Sony’s absence is surprising considering the recent reports surrounding its PS4 VR headset, and the company may just be protecting its interest as far as not sharing specifics with the competition. We may see the Japanese console-maker add their name to ITA’s list at some point, and surely their presence would benefit the platform as a whole.
Jeri Ellsworth, President and Co-Founder of Technical Illusions, had the following to say about the ITA’s formation:
“In this rapidly expanding industry of augmented and virtual reality displays, and other immersive technologies, great communication and collaboration among technology leaders is valuable. We’re proud to participate in The ITA as a founding member, and contribute our thought leadership to the group.
“We are revolutionizing the way people interact with and display their digital graphics, and we look forward to working with the alliance to bring more awareness to immersive products like castAR.”
Under the ITA’s careful scrutiny, VR may have a formidable appearance in the gaming sphere in the next couple of years. With the ill effects on the human body from VR play sessions–such as nausea and dizziness–we may see some sort of health organization jump on board in order to help make the platform safer and more enjoyable for gamers.
It will be interesting to see how the ITA helps shape virtual reality as a whole, and given this expansive list of diverse companies and groups, the new emerging platform appears to be in good hands.