The Rise of Virtual Reality at the Berytech Meetups January Edition

The January ’18 Edition of the Berytech Meetups powered by GIST hosted hardware, software and industry experts to talk about their experiences in Virtual Reality.

First, here’s a quick round up:

Dermendar – Rebecca Abi Raad and Abd el Mageed Suckar

Dermendar started in 2007 with the first panorama program that stitched together pictures to create a 360 degrees vision. It was later introduced on mobile offering an added value to the 270 degrees that the panoramic cameras that were introduced to phones. With the VR Kit, the Dermendar team aims to take 360 degree images to another level.

The team shared their learnings in their VR journey so far including:
  • Don’t stop and keep trying: When mobile stores launched panoramic cameras after we pioneered it, we had doubts in continuing but then we realized the added value we had by creating 360 panorama captures.
  • Don’t go into projects that vitally rely on hardware: Compatibility is hard to keep up with when you make hardware.
  • Do it yourself when it comes to hardware:  When you buy already existing hardware in the market you end up with many restrictions, thats why we built our own.
  • Keep it stupid simple: create a simple prototype that is well engineered and easy to use first and move on from there.


Watch the video to learn more of the Dermendar journey, first views of products they have been developing and major trends in VR today.

Game Cooks – Lara Noujaim

Game Cooks started in mobile gaming doing everything in house from design to art to voice over. The 46 person team is based in Beirut and San Fransisco with only 10 focusing on VR.
Diving into VR was a way to differentiate Game Cooks away from the overly competitive mobile gaming market. While the team proves that it is a misconception that a huge investment is required to emerge in the VR market, being a small team is an advantage allowing them the flexibility and the ability to pivot fast and easy.
The slow adoption of VR is due to many factors according to Lara, but iterations are quick to happen opening more doors to VR content creators in the market:
High startup price:  Hardware price drops will be a game changer in the near future.
Headsets are tethered to PC:  the new generation of headsets with be untethered opening a door for endless creation opportunities.
The current lack of good content: which is giving good opportunity for indie developers to shine at the moment knowing that some VR games have made +3m in revenue coming out of indie developers rather than big labels.
“If you find a way to distinguish yourself, it is easier to get exposure just by putting yourself out there.”
Watch the video to learn more about the constraints that faced Game Cooks and the decisions that they took to tackle and overcome them:

Beirut Creative Cluster – John Chehaibar

With the Beirut Creative Cluster bringing together creative agencies across 7 digital creative fields including animation and gaming, VR takes front and center in the BCC’s agenda.
If you are getting started in VR, John suggests launching on a mobile platform like Samsung gear which simplifies distribution, provides a seamless performance and gives you a great overall experience. He also recommends essential software tools, many of which are open-source including for drawing or that even provides pre-existing characters. For more sophistication, John recommends Unreal or Unity 3D who even provide tutorials to launch you in VR game development.
Watch the video for an overview of the cluster’s work and more recommendations that John provides:

Berytech Meetups powered by GIST

Every month, Berytech organizes a community meetup around an interesting subject in science and technology and hosts three guest speakers to share their knowledge and expertise with a passionate audience. For information on the upcoming Berytech Meetups follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram

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