Taiwan: Design Talent Badly Needed For VR Push

Taiwan: Design Talent Badly Needed For VR Push
January 17, 2017

Taiwanese electronics firms rushing to develop virtual reality (VR) are reportedly in the market for software talent with an eye for aesthetics. 


VR headsets are emerging as a hot tech toy worldwide, and local industry sources have said it's no easy feat to create a comfortable VR experience for consumers.


At the moment, the majority of VR content available on the market carry a refresh rate of only 30 to 60 images per second, which means users of VR headsets tend to feel dizzy several minutes after wearing the device.


A minimum refresh rate of 90 images per second is needed to prevent the sensation of dizziness, a VR software engineer said, citing a recent study.


The engineer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that whether a VR user feels dizzy hinges on the VR software rather than hardware.


VR software designers should take into consideration the focal distance between both left and right eyes, image play velocity and the specifications of images suitable for being refreshed 90 times per second, when developing good VR content, the engineer said.


A Tall Order


He said that the nature of software engineering varied greatly from field to field.


An engineer versed in writing information security software might be unable to create software programs for electronic games, while a game software designer might be poor at writing 3-D animation software.


"When I decided to switch to the VR software design, I spent a lot of time studying new programming languages and aesthetic designs," another engineer said.


At the moment, game engines featuring heavy fine-art elements are massively employed in the design of VR software programs.


"But it's a pity that Taiwan now lacks talent that is well-nurtured in the fine arts and can also write software programs. Some can make VR content with a great aesthetic sensibility but can't write software programs," the engineer said.


As VR, augmented reality and mixed reality becoming dominant forces in the market, Taiwan's software industry finds itself at a critical juncture.


Industry sources say that now is the time to cultivate talent and design teams equipped with strong software engineering capabilities and a strong sense of aesthetics, so that Taiwan can catch up with global trends.


Heres Comes Magic VR Bus


Together, Taiwan Caring Foundation and TrendMicro Inc. have dispatched a "Magic VR Bus" so that children in rural Taiwan can enjoy the VR experience.


The medium-sized bus, which embarked in December, is equipped with four sets of facilities designed to give children in remote areas a "digital education in astronomy."


"We hope that allowing the children to experience the VR world as early as possible can help develop their interest in the VR field and become VR talents in the future," TrendMicro CEO Chen Yi-hua said.

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