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What Our Contest Judges Want in a “Killer App” for Gear VR

High Fidelity’s Philip Rosedale, Upload Inc.’s Taylor Freeman and XEODesign’s Nicole Lazzaro on the apps that will transform mobile VR

We’re honored and very excited to announce a panel of virtual reality experts who’ll be judging our “Killer App” Gear VR contest: Philip Rosedale, Taylor Freeman, and Nicole Lazzaro. On December 1st, they’ll join Samsung’s Paul T. Kim to choose the grand prize entry which best fits the category of killer app: An individual application of a new technology that’s so powerful and useful that the technology itself becomes indispensable.

Here’s more about each judge, along with their own vision of a killer app for Gear VR:

Philip Rosedale, CEO and co-founder of High Fidelity, Inc., a company devoted to exploring the future of next-generation shared virtual reality: “What we are looking for is: Gloves! Some kind of mobile way to use your hands would allow real creativity and communication from within the Gear and instantly make mobile VR as compelling as desktop.”

Taylor Freeman, co-founder and CEO of Upload, Inc., a multi-dimensional VR organization focused on advancing the growth of the consumer VR industry: “I am looking for an app that boosts productivity and enables multiuser collaboration.”

Nicole Lazzaro, founder of XEODesign, is a world-renowned game developer/designer who pioneered measuring emotions on players’ faces:

“Virtual reality is a trip down the rabbit hole to experience wonderland. Porting traditional game genre to VR is about as satisfying as a transparent D-pad on a mobile game. I’m looking for innovation. The most important criteria is this. Whether you come from movies or games we’ve always used a box with 3 crayons: a red, a green, and a blue. With VR that box has a 4th crayon. That 4th crayon is depth, the z axis. In my mind a killer VR app must use that 4th crayon in all levels of the experience. In fact if you can’t play the game with the depth map alone I argue that you don’t have true VR.“  In addition, Nicole adds: “VR creates empathy and cross cultural understanding. I’m also looking for VR experiences that promote empathy and cross cultural understanding on issues that can change our world. I’m looking for teams to join XEODesign’s mission is to unlock human potential through play.”

Paul T. Kim, Director of Content and Services at Samsung: “What I think could be a killer app is something one can use to create or encourage active engagement. Something that provides reason to come back. Current Gear VR (or VR in general) content available to date definitely skews towards casual consumption (call it maybe lazy VR?). Any proof-of-concept app that shows a glimpse of this potential, that focuses on creation, I would rate high.”

Inspired? Go here to submit your own “Killer App” entry.

We’re grateful these judges could join us. (Read more about their impressive backgrounds below.) And we hope you can join us in-person at the event too: December 1st, 7pm at the Upload VR office in San Francisco. Follow us on Twitter for more details.

Judges for Samsung Developer Connections’ Killer App for Gear VR Contest

Philip Rosedale is CEO and co-founder of High Fidelity, Inc., a company devoted to exploring the future of next-generation shared virtual reality. Prior to High Fidelity, Rosedale created the virtual civilization Second Life, populated by one million active users generating US$700M in annual transaction volumes. In addition to numerous technology inventions (including the video conferencing product called FreeVue, acquired by RealNetworks in 1996 where Rosedale later served as CTO), Rosedale has also worked on experiments in distributed work and computing.

Taylor Freeman is the co-founder and CEO of Upload, Inc., a multi-dimensional VR organization focused on advancing the growth of the consumer VR industry. Freeman’s personal goal is to grow the VR vertical in order to benefit human society as a whole. He is dedicated to improving education, community and the future of human computer interaction. Prior to founding Upload, Inc., Freeman was the founder and CEO of Magnus Labs, an advertising firm that focused on helping brands reach audiences by leveraging emerging technology and social media before being acquired by Guru Media in 2014. He also worked on several film productions during his time at Universal Studios. Freeman has appeared as a panelist or keynote speaker at a variety of industry-leading conferences including the International Emmys and the VR & AR World Expo.

Nicole Lazzaro, founder of XEODesign, is a world-renowned game developer/designer who pioneered measuring emotions on players’ faces. She designed the first iPhone game and is now the lead engineer for “Follow the White Rabbit” a VR Mystery Adventure™. Culminating two years of research she developed 36 VR Benchmarks to help her clients create more compelling VR/AR UX’s and experiences. Additionally, she uses XEODesign’s “4 Keys to Fun” to increase emotion from player’s favorite actions in games. One of the ‘Top 20′ women working in video games For over 20 years Nicole has consulted on bestsellers such as The Sims, Myst, and Star Wars. Her clients include EA, Ubisoft, Disney, Eyefluence, and the White House.

Paul T. Kim, Director of Content and Services, with focus on VR and OTT Video at Samsung Electronics America in Mountain View, California. Paul has been in the digital media industry for more than 15 years, in product management, strategic partnerships, and business development. For the past 3 years, Paul has focused on his efforts on partnerships with some of the greatest VR producers to developer content for Gear VR. Paul received his Bachelor of Science degree in Cybernetics from University of California, Los Angeles.

By Samsung Developer Connection
November 17, 2016
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