Prosper XR is Empowering a New Wave of VR Storytelling with the XR Alliance

Q&A with Jessie Kim, Co-Founder & CEO of Prosper XR

Published on in Exclusive Interviews

The XR Alliance was founded with a simple desire to close the barrier for entry faced by many potential VR creators with a desire to enter the field. Contestants will have their scripts read by a panel of judges made up by some of the leading figures in VR, AR and mixed reality. Winners will receive the opportunity to join the XR Development lab, where they'll be paired with an experienced mentor and granted the opportunity to further turn their idea into a realized product. We talked exclusively with Jessie Kim, Co-Founder & CEO of Prosper XR to learn more. 

PH: How did you conceptualize the XR Alliance and what did it take to get it off the ground?
 
Jessie Kim: I noticed that VR and AR has a content problem. Most immersive content is not very compelling to consumers because of a fundamental communication and collaboration problem. Many content creators today are either great technologists who can effectively solve technical challenges to create novel immersive experiences or great storytellers who don’t know how to create content or manifest their vision. We want to bring these disparate groups together to create something great. We also want to inspire and give confidence to those who are sitting on the sidelines wanting to create content, but don’t know where to start or how to properly roadmap their vision. Great content starts with a great roadmap and that’s what we aim to help the industry master.
 
The XR Alliance, in our inaugural year, created a new storytelling competition for XR content. Our goal is to facilitate the language of developing interactive and linear XR content. We aim to serve as the bridge of communication and collaboration between great storytellers and great technologists. This competition is unique because it is the first ever of its kind where the pioneers of VR, AR and MR come together to inspire, support and develop emerging talent in one program regardless of company.

The competition is our first step towards developing great roadmaps for immersive content and helping the industry facilitate the language of interactive and linear XR content.”

We aim to bring formerly disparate and separate parts of the industry together with the shared goal of facilitating the language of immersive XR content development and support and inspire content creators to do their best work.

PH: What type of new experience can VR creators expect?

Jessie Kim: I believe that starting now, we will start to see more VR experiences that merge and overlap with AR experiences, thanks to better hardware developed to integrate both. VR will become more immersive, hitting users on all their senses, from sight, touch, smell as evidenced by the popularity of highly immersive VR, like the Star Wars VOID experience. As VR continues to develop, interactive experiences where the user is the character will gain popularity, and their experiences will be streamed. This will lead to the rise of popular and eventually famous VR “athletes” who will gain popularity for their level of skill over a VR game and they will gain their own followers and fans.  

PH: How is VR significantly impacting the film and TV industry?

Jessie Kim: VR is a new medium for content creation that offers embodied presence, unlike any other medium that came before. It offers a new way of providing an experience that is more powerful and impactful, that has the potential to do great good and great harm. VR is a way to scale experiences to the masses. Currently, there are over 15 Million VR headsets used worldwide. You can create a world only limited by your imagination, create characters, stories, and scale the experience you create or develop to millions.

VR offers new and powerful distribution channels, even for traditional flat screen media. For example, Oculus found, when surveying their customers, that many people use VR in their daily lives to consume traditional media when traveling, or if the TV is being taken by others in their household. It is a convenient way to catch up with their favorite shows and watch traditional films.

Regardless, VR is an entirely new medium that will not replace film and television, the way film did not replace theater. VR as a fresh medium will develop its own language, its own rules, its own content and its own consumer base and market that will co-exist with film and television.   

PH: What is the process like for a prospective VR creator to become a part of the XR Alliance program?

Jessie Kim: A prospective VR creator can become a part of the XR Alliance program by simply writing a script– up to 10 minutes in length for immersive. They can start with the resources page on our website.

We don’t discriminate based on the type of equipment you have access to or what kinds of software you can afford. If you are a talented writer who understands immersive and how to tell a story in XR, you can win the competition.

We hope that anyone with an idea will spend a weekend to write a brief 10-minute experience for virtual, augmented or mixed reality and submit.

PH: How has the panel of judges been selected?

Jessie Kim: When looking for judges, we worked backward by first identifying the top companies in VR making waves today. Of those companies, some are more open to publicly being seen in the same space as some of their competitors. We also selected individuals at these companies who are either pioneers in immersive or are influential to be a part of the XR Alliance.

PH: Once selected, what does the process look like for the VR creator?

Jessie Kim: Winners of the competition will be paired with a mentor who has experience in the technical aspects around producing their creative vision. They will join us at a villa in Malibu in December to spend some 1-1 time with their mentor to discuss their projects and be coached on how to refine their project, make it better and hopefully one day be made and experienced by many!  

PH: Can you talk a bit about the line of robotics that you're currently working on? How will this shape the industry?

Jessie Kim: VR, AR and MR is currently experienced by users on all separate hardware, but will one day converge onto one piece of hardware and transform our daily lives. We aim to be at the intersection of the immersive mediums with innovative content.  Our goal is to bring AR/VR/MR together in novel ways by solving the technical challenges to creating great content whether that be solved by our robotics, software, or innovative production techniques.

Our robotics solutions provide the most dynamic options for production. We offer many different options, from customized solutions to the Rig Rover, to the Rover X, to the Rover XL.

We offer the only rover solution where sound can be captured at the same time. We offer turning without forced yaw movement of the camera, which can create VR sickness. We offer the tightest turning radius, best terrain performance, the only professional omnidirectional rover. We offer the highest speeds and heaviest payload capacity that is effective at mitigating shock, vibration and provides effective horizon stabilization through the use of custom-made gimbals.  

We are thrilled to introduce 2 new Rovers to our production capabilities, the patent-pending Rover X and Rover XL. We offer the only professional omnidirectional Rover with high speeds and heavy payload capacity, as well as the best terrain performance.

We’re excited to produce interactive and cinematic immersive content that has never been possible before with our new tools.

PH: How much of a role do you think VR will have in the future of the entertainment industry? And what will this future look like?

Jessie Kim: VR will have its own niche in the entertainment industry. It will give rise to a new form of consumption, a new form of content more powerful than ever before. VR will offer creators the ability to scale experiences to millions across the world, provide them with a sense of embodied presence. It will coexist with the other entertainment mediums such as film, television, theater, games. It will be part of the content mix of any brand as well as any production company. VR and AR will one day replace every single display we see around us today.

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Jessie Kim
Jessie Kim
Jessie has conceptualized campaigns and produced content that engages millions. She co-founded Prosper XR, an immersive content creation studio with a specialty in robotics. Jessie wrote the Daydream Impact 101 curriculum for Google and mentored NASA/JPL in Google's first ever VR Creator Lab. In the past year, she has produced over 17 VR experiences in various roles, from Director, Director of Photography and VFX Supervisor. Prosper XR has created content for brands such as Disney, Live Nation, Hulu, Google, Buzzfeed and Netflix.

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