Social media giant Facebook today unveiled two new programmes aimed at boosting Virtual Reality development in India.
With The India Innovation Hub Facebook will work with 10 VR-focused startups providing them with access to training, Facebook's VR Innovation lab, workshops, mentors, and research as part of the six-month programme.
Whilst the School of Innovation programme, which will be open for engineering students, will have 10 teams using VR to build a next-generation product idea.
To develop their idea, the teams will participate in a 20-week programme that includes in-person and online learning. They will then build a low and high-fidelity prototype before launching it to customers.
The partnership demonstrates Facebook’s commitment to making emerging technologies like VR a part of daily life. But also a play to further penetrate an emerging market ripe for VR.
Major technologies launched in the US and other advanced markets also get due attention in India, and VR is no different.
With its 241 million users (per Statista), India is now Facebook’s largest user base just ahead of the US (240 million). Also, with its huge smartphone base of over 200 million users, India is poised to be a key market for VR in the future.
The startups can be early or growth stage across industries like healthcare, education, automobiles, and others.
The application process for the programme will open in January 2018.