Just a few months ago, Udacity added Christian Plagemann (who co-founded the Google VR team and was a lead developer of Google Cardboard) to its team. Plagemann joined the company as a director, specifically to develop a virtual reality-based curriculum. Well, it would appear that the program is ready to roll.
Udacity now offers a brand new, online “nanodegree” to prepare students for jobs in the rapidly developing Virtual Reality industry. The company, as with all its programs, promises that any amateur who has little to none programming experience can join the course and create mobile phone and desktop-based virtual reality “experiences” or applications.
VR is a sector that is seeing a lot of development right now. It seems quite natural that Udacity has started offering a course in this stream, considering that the company’s nanodegrees are universally accepted.
Udacity says that people who take up the course will be able to build apps and services that will be compatible with any VR device including HTC Vive, Google Cardboard, Daydream and Oculus Rift.
Plagemann, who has been highly proactive in Udacity, definitely has a major role to play in the rollout. With his expertise and influence backed by the Udacity brand name, the developer has pulled in corporate partners including Google VR, HTC Vive, and Upload and several VR industry rockstars — including Matt Sonic — to help develop the curriculum for the nanodegree.
We want people to be able to write applications and experiences that are basically as good as real life, snappy, fast but don’t drop frames and feel absolutely real.
Plagemann told TechCrunch in a statement.
Unsurprisingly, unlike other courses, the learning environment of the VR course will be a VR space. This means that Udacity is shifting from the traditional video, audio and writing techniques for this course. The reasoning behind this shift is pretty clear, pursuers of the nanodegree will be able to understand the concepts more clearly in a VR setup.
If you’re interested in taking up the online course, just pay up $199 and you’re good to go. Udacity will also give you a 50 percent refund if you finish the course within a year. And in case you don’t get a job within half a year of getting your nanodegree, you’ll get back all your cash (that’s highly unlikely, though).
The timings are completely flexible, and all you need is a VR compatible smartphone along with a Google Cardboard device. In case you want to complete optional coursework on “High Immersion VR,” you can also get yourself a higher-end VR system like an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headset.