‘Render the Metaverse’, Mary Lou Jepsen, Anna Sweet, and International Commerce

Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
April 27, 2015

Render the Metaverse with Oculus and OTOY

We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with OTOY to host Render the Metaverse, a virtual reality art competition with $75,000 in prizes. You can enter the competition starting today by creating and submitting a 360º stereoscopic panorama created using OTOY’s Octane VR system via the Render the Metaverse website.


Render the Metaverse will run through May, June, and July. Each month the best, most breathtaking 360º stereo-panoramic submissions will be judged by legendary comic book artist Alex Ross, Oculus CTO John Carmack, and OTOY founder and CEO, Jules Urbach. All winners, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place along with runner-ups will be featured and showcased in Oculus 360 Photos.

“One of the rewards of years of technology development is seeing artists work on the canvases I have helped create, and I am always left amazed by the vision brought to bear. Stereoscopic panoramas are powerful, but they are a peculiar medium that is difficult to author for with conventional photography or rasterization based rendering. OTOY’s Octane VR makes it trivial to emit optimal media for today’s displays, as well as next generation formats for the future.” – John Carmack

We’ll have more news and updates on the contest in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can learn about OTOY and Octane VR at https://home.otoy.com/. We’re looking forward to experiencing your visions in VR!

Mary Lou Jepsen and Anna Sweet Join Oculus

We’re very excited to announce that that Mary Lou Jepsen has joined Oculus. Mary Lou is one of the top display innovators in the world. Before Oculus, Mary Lou engineered the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop, and later led “moonshot” display projects at Google[x].


“Virtual reality has been seen as a niche product for the wealthy. Like One Laptop Per Child’s vision of computers for the poorest children, we imagine VR as an enabling technology, a platform for mass adoption, for women and men, adults and children, rich and poor, everywhere.” – Mary Lou Jepsen

At Oculus, Mary Lou will be developing displays that will make it possible to push the boundaries of virtual reality technology.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Anna Sweet as Oculus’ new Head of Developer Strategy. Anna brings a wealth of industry experience from her time at Valve, where she led Steam software and hardware programs, working with partners around the world. At Oculus, she’ll be focused on building an ecosystem that rewards developers for creating and delivering the world’s best VR experiences.


“The first time I put on a VR headset, I knew it was the next thing I wanted to work on — it was the same feeling I had when my parents bought me a Tandy when I was a kid. The ways in which VR can impact our lives is boundless, and I’m extremely excited to work with the world class team at Oculus to build the VR platforms and experiences that will shape the future of technology. I look forward to helping support and enable partners and developers across many industries to be a part of that.” – Anna Sweet

Please join us in welcoming Mary Lou and Anna to the team!

International Commerce Now Available on Gear VR

Since introducing commerce to the Oculus Store available on the Gear VR Innovator Edition, the team’s been working on expanding support to the rest of world. We’re excited to announce that as of 4/20, the global commerce rollout has begun. You can now buy and sell apps, games, and experiences on the Oculus Store in all countries where Gear VR is sold.

Viral1Viral by Fierce Kaiju, available on the Oculus Store for Gear VR Innovator Edition

Full versions of games like Viral (“…the best $5 you can spend in virtual reality…” – Kotaku), Darknet by E McNeill ($9.99), Dreadhalls by White Door Games ($4.99) and Gunner by nDreams ($4.99) are now being sold to Gear VR Innovator Editions users worldwide. We’ll continue to add support and features for commerce in the months ahead — Stay tuned!

Mobile VR Jam 2015 – Milestone 1 Complete

This week nearly 600 teams completed Mobile VR Jam 2015’s first development milestone, submitting ideas, pitches, and imagery from their project. You can check out the jam’s public submission gallery to share feedback, comments, suggestions, and questions directly with the teams.

Over the next few weeks, developers will continue to flesh out their submissions – providing screenshots by 4/27, videos by 5/3, and a final shareable build by 5/10. And most importantly, get ready to help us decide our “Community’s Choice” winners by voting on your favorites from 5/12 – 5/27.

It’s 6 weeks until E3 2015, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the show!

— The Oculus Team