Hint: brownie points are awarded to concepts that implements special features, more on the competition page ;)
How did you get into the VR industry?
My co-founder, Ben Doyle, and I actually originally wanted to make interactive VR stories. We saw this exciting new medium and wanted to try and tell use it to tell stories. It was only after we made our first piece that that we realized that distribution models in place at the time (expensive apps or passive sites like youtube 360), couldn't give us what we needed. So we pivoted and started developing tools to bring interactive live action VR to the web.
What's your opinion about WebVR's role in shaping the industry?
WebVR is critical to the future of virtual reality generally. VR has the potential to be so much more than just a video game platform. It can change the way we shop for clothing, the way we watch sports, the way we buy houses. But in order to realize this potential, we need to bring VR to where people already are, on the web. If we are able to do that in a good way, I really think that the potential of VR is almost limitless. If not, I'm not sure it will ever grow to be something more than a cool toy.
Are there any particular kind of applications, tools, or simulations that you'd really love to see come out of this hackathon?
I would encourage people to keep in mind the diversity of potential applications of VR and the diversity of the potential user base. Experiences that address the needs of women and other identities not traditionally represented in tech have enormous potential, and I want the community to keep them in mind from day one.
Are there any grave mistakes or pitfalls that you often see that you'd like for teams to avoid?
Don't let the novelty of the tech carry the experience. People will use something for three minutes because it's new and different, but they won't integrate it into their daily lives unless it is a genuinely better experience. Too often things are built for VR because they *can* be, not because they *should be.*
On the flip side, what are some tips that you'd like to share that might help teams create awesome stuff?
The flip-side to my last answer, you should always be connecting what you're doing to the experience of the final user, the average viewer. So whether your building tools for developers, creating experiences, or something else, drive yourself towards that final experience and think critically about what is merely "cool" and what is actually helpful.