The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab and OMERS Ventures announced a partnership today to carry out a study examining the virtual reality ecosystem in Canada.
Pulse on VR: A Workflow and Ecosystem Study aims to identify key players in this emerging industry, as well as the primary workflows for bring VR to the public. A public survey for VR companies making software and hardware content interested in participating is also live now until July 8. Participating companies will also be included in a publicly accessible ecosystem map that can potentially help companies, funders, investors and creatives see where they fit in the ecosystem.
The study, which CFC and OMERS announced at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California, is rooted in the desire to understand how VR experiences are created and distributed – and which technologies and companies are taking part in designing the different parts of this ecosystem. The study will also look at challenges in creating VR experiences in Canada.
“Virtual reality is very much a nascent technology and it remains to be seen how the Canadian VR ecosystem will evolve,” said Prashant Matta, venture capitalist at OMERS Ventures. “This study will help us understand the opportunities and challenges that VR will bring to the entertainment industry and beyond.”
The two companies hope that Pulse on VR will shed light on the market potential and impact that VR affords the creative and technology industries in Canada and beyond. The study will mainly focus on the Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba markets, with some insight from California.
The study will be conducted by Nordicity, an international consulting firm providing solutions for Strategy and Business, Economic Analysis, Impact, and Evaluation across the creative and digital media industries. The research will incorporate experiences like active VR (VR games), passive VR (linear documentary experiences) and hybrid VR experiences (combining both active and passive VR).
“The current reality of the VR workflow in North America is that it’s complex, multi-layered and not well understood,” said Ana Serrano, chief digital officer at the CFC. “This lack of clarity risks hindering growth in the VR ecosystem. With this study, we hope to uncover strengths, weaknesses and gaps in Canada’s VR ecosystem in order to determine and tap into new areas for growth in VR that offer promising market potential.”
The research is funded by Canada Media Fund (CMF-FMC), Telefilm Canada, Creative BC, On Screen Manitoba (OSM) and New Media Manitoba (NMM), the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), la Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) and supported by Super Ventures.