The world of virtual reality grew exponentially this year, with various companies entering the market and releasing their own take on the technology. But while the competition is tough and varied, some of the biggest names in the industry are gearing up together to take VR to the next level. Google, Samsung, HTC Vive, Oculus, Acer and Sony are starting things off.
As Android Headline points out, the appeal of virtual reality rests on both ends of the spectrum in terms of popularity. On one side, there is not a massive following from the public with regards to actually purchasing VR products - no matter how many there are to choose from. This usually comes from the mentality that this type of technology needs to be tried before it is actually invested on.
On the other hand, there are several tech companies who have each put hundreds of hours and a lot of money into developing their products. That is a lot of research, experiments, and testing to go through for just a passing fad. These tech giants, as the publication explains, see virtual reality as the next big thing - the turn that tech will soon take wholeheartedly.
Which is possibly by a handful of these companies have joined together to form the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA). The non-profit organization is currently made up of Google, Samsung, HTC Vive, Oculus, Acer Starbreeze and Sony Interactive Entertainment. The companies are some of the biggest and toughest players in the VR industry.
As Tech Crunch quotes the press release states that "The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association will promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally. Association's members will develop and share best practices, conduct research, and bring the international VR community together as the technology progresses. The group will also serve a resource for consumers, policymakers, and industry interested in VR."
The publication goes on state that this GVRA help in the creation of a unified set of standards with regards to software and hardware. Before the organization was set up, there were explicit differences between the various players, especially in terms of games. For example, games bought on the Facebook-owned Oculus Store were not compatible on the PlayStation VR or the Vive. Perhaps, with the new setup, crossovers will be available in the future.
Notably, however, Valve is not part of the companies currently listed as members of GVRA. So while it is possible that named companies will allow crossovers between themselves, it looks now as if one standard will not be possible. Valve is responsible for the Steam store and SteamVR platform for the HTC Vive and others.
The statement that was released to the press, however, is not exactly that clear. It did not explain what it meant by "best practices" and to what extent its members will be willing to "share" this information. A set of unifying standards seems to be the best bet at this point, however. Furthermore, it is possible that GVRA will be responsible for making important announcements in the virtual reality world -- ones that are not specifically tied to just one member.