USA TODAY NETWORK

USA TODAY NETWORK has been at the forefront of creating exceptional VR content with  experiences such as the Des Moines Register’s award-winning look at life on a farm with “Harvest of Change”, a ride along with the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels dubbed as the most popular 360 Facebook video of 2015, with over 11 million views and shared by none other than Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and even going as far as to develop the first ever regularly scheduled VR news show launching this fall

Until the app for Daydream launches, please see USA TODAY NETWORK's VR Stories app to experience their VR news stories.

USA TODAY NETWORK also launched the first-ever branded weekly VR news show in exclusive partnership with YouTube, as well as a premiere launch sponsor, Toyota. Additionally, the USA TODAY NETWORK has also hired an Emmy-winning director & producer, David Hamlin, to serve as the executive producer for the show.

We invite you to the StoryNEXT VR event, see details here

Mativision

With offices in New York, London, and Athens, Mativision provides truly immersive experiences for brands and businesses by giving them the ability to film and broadcast in full 360˚ vision and Virtual Reality (VR). Mativision has spent more than 10 years developing the world’s end-to-end technology that can stream live directly to VR from multiple synchronized 360-degree cameras, a technology that places Mativision in the forefront of the VR revolution.

Mativision's mission it to build the future of VR in Medical Education & Training through the VRinOR® mobile platform.  More info here . 

Samsung: Pioneering VR for the Masses

When it comes to VR, Samsung has become the industry's household name. Already a formidable presence, the South Korean electronics giant has reinvented itself as a VR pioneer.  First out of the gate with the GearVR, it has defined mobile VR and will keep innovating into VR's next phase.

As the VR/AR Association has examined, VR market growth is challenged by a classic "chicken-and-egg" dilemma. There aren't enough headsets to compel content creators to invest in long-form content; that lack of content in turn diminishes consumer headset investments. 

That scenario mostly applies to high-end HMDs like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, which are cost prohibitive to the mainstream -- not to mention the graphics-capable PCs necessary to run them. This is where Samsung has filled a gap with the highly functional yet accessible GearVR. 

Expanding from the consumer end, Samsung has brought this accessibility + functionality approach to the creator end with the Gear360. The highly anticipated device seeds the content side of the equation with 360 live action capture. 

Together the Gear360 and GearVR rise all boats and accelerate the industry's mainstream penetration.  This is a mission that the VR/AR Association identifies with: Getting more devices into more hands (read: acclimation and education) is the name of the game at this early stage. 

We're honored to welcome Samsung as the latest member of the association's San Francisco chapter (and host of its first event). In "matchmaking" mode -- one of VRARA's specialties -- let us know if you want to partner or talk to Samsung. We'll connect you to the right people. 

Bottle Rocket Blasts Off with VR AR

This month featured member is Bottle Rocket.

Bottle Rocket is an award-winning mobile strategy, design, and development company that provides industry-leading innovation and value-driven experiences for the world’s top brands such as NBCUniversal, Coca-Cola, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, PetSmart and Mary Kay. Since 2008 Bottle Rocket has built 250+ applications and experiences for iPhone, iPad, Android, streaming devices, wearables, and VR.  Bottle Rocket, a subsidiary of OgilvyOne, is part of WPP, the world’s largest advertising and marketing services company made up of 150 different companies around the world including companies like Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam, JWT, Grey, Wunderman, and AKQA.

If you are interested in exploring VR AR possibilities with Bottle Rocket, please email Tony Gauthier, Business Development Executive at Bottle Rocket,  tony.gauthier@bottlerocketstudios.com or Kris Kolo, VRARA, President NYC kris@thevrara.com