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About VR-Graz - Virtual Reality Graz, Styria, Austria

About VR Graz

Virtual Reality isn't something new in Graz - the TU Graz (ICG, CGV, ISDS) started doing research on Virtual Reality way long before the current hype started (that Oculus kicked of with their extremely successful Kickstarter-Campaign). But there was no place for enthusiasts in Graz who wanted to interact with other enthusiasts on a regular basis and share their excitement with likemindend people.

That's why I created in March 2016 the "VR Graz" Group on meetup.com and held a few weeks later - on March 28th - the first meetup with a staggering amount of 4 participants (sic!) at a local bar in Graz. We all were early adopters and tech enthusiasts - and it became clear that it would be a good idea to meet regularly.

The main idea was - and still is - to bring VR to a wider audience, give people the opportunity to try out VR for the first time without having to buy a lot of expensive equiment and to build up a place where companies can find partners to collaborate.

Luckily I got approached by the owner of the lab10 coworking space, who offered to provide a space once a month for regular meetups in an environment where it's possible to hold lectures and enough space for a roomscale VR setup is available. The following meetups included presentations from various fields, including engineering, medical, real-estate, game development and many more. But sometimes also just simple VR Tryouts or whenever a new major headset entered the market (and was available for a hands on).

With the declining hype around VR in 2018, the number of participants at the regular meetups also dropped significantly and monthly meetups seemed to be too much.

Now with lots of headsets available for the mass market, the approach is to try a middleway by having three types of meetups - one every month in a three month cycle:

  • There are "VR-Drinkups" where we meet at a local bar and talk about VR related stuff while having a drink. People can come by and drop off as they wish and it's a good opportunity to make first contact with members of the VR community in Graz.
  • The following month we're hosting "Virtual Virtual Reality Meetups" for all who can't attend our Meetups in person and to reach out more internationally. The preferred platform for this is currently AltspaceVR due to it's availability on all major platforms and there's also a 2D version for everybody who doesn't have a VR headset (yet). But we're looking forward to switch to vrland.io - an austrian made WebVR project as soon as it provides the needed features.
  • After that comes a "Regular Meetup" which has a specific topic. It could be a VR-related lecture by someone, the presentation of a VR project or product or a 'Hands on' at new equipment.

Then the cycle restarts with a VR Drinkup.

If you want to present your company/project/product at one of our regular meetups - feel free to get in contact. And if you have an idea for an awesome VR project and are looking for feedback, collaboration or partners to develop it - come to one of our meetups!

Please note that time & resources are very limited at this point - so any support is widely appreciated!

- Markus from the VR Graz Meetup Group

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