Music is expected to play a prominent role in the development of content for virtual reality, following games and films. But the growth of VR content will depend on a pool of next-generation talent who can master both art and technology.

“We need multi-disciplinary young talent,” says Liu Szu-Ming, president of HTC Vive Originals, at a Taiwan Creative Content Fest (TCCF) panel discussion on Wednesday. “We need a lot of people to be trained in both technology and art, and we can tap into this pool of talent for our future development. Young people, regardless of their background, should work in an interdisciplinary way.”

Yang Meng-yin, director of the Kaohsiung Film Archive and Kaohsiung Film Festival, which has been actively involved in VR film production in recent years, said it has taken the team three years to master VR content production.

“Cinema has become an exhibition venue in the context of VR. Production requires interdisciplinary collaboration,” Yang said.

Taiwan’s VR productions have earned international standing in recent years. That is due to both the HTC Vive headsets, which have become the industry standard, and the push for original content production and promotion. Taiwan-made VR content has been regularly showcased at the Venice Film Festival.

To give Taiwan’s VR content production a further push, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) launched the first Immersive Content Grant for international co-productions in the first quarter of 2020. The first five winners were selected in June with each receiving $123,000 (NT$3.5 million) to develop their projects.

HTC Vive Originals has been working on enhancing music experiences via VR, including the production of virtual concerts with volumetric photography and live broadcasting of concerts that promise to offer audiences a feeling of “flying.” The company is also producing more animation with 360-degree stop-motion filming at a rate of 20 frames per second, Liu said.

VR content trading using blockchain technology may also be the next area of development, Liu said. “We want to create a trading platform that is open and transparent. Blockchain technology is necessary to protect the IP, as the content is highly priced and of high value.”