Celebrating Women in VR: Q&A with Kate Wurzbacher
It’s Women’s History Month, and we’re excited to celebrate all of the amazing contributions made by women in the VR industry. In Oculus TV on Oculus Quest, you’ll find “Her Life, Her Story,” a special spotlight for International Women’s Day. And stay tuned to the Oculus Store later this week, where we’ll highlight Quest titles with some amazing women behind the scenes.
On the blog, the celebration continues with a series of interviews featuring women across the VR industry, including studio leads, artists, and more.
How did you get your start in the tech industry?
Kate Wurzbacher: I began working in 2D film as a camera assistant. A cinematographer I worked with was shooting a 360° music video, Björk’s “Stonemilker.” Through that experience, I was introduced to a VR content company, VRSE, which would become Within and Here Be Dragons. There was a need to quickly build and iterate 360° 3D camera systems, and I was able to call on my background of working with cinema cameras to help make these rigs better suited to the field.
Tell us about your current role.
I'm in charge of a constantly evolving portable volumetric camera rig that allows us to also capture these subjects for AR and VR. To my knowledge, there aren’t many others trying to capture volumetric data on a scale of hours instead of minutes. There’s also a lot of work we’re doing on how we interact with these digital captures of real people in virtual spaces, as well as the ethics of capturing this data.
Who’s your favorite figure from women’s history?
KW: Completely not tech related—I’ve always loved a good woman warrior.
How do you see yourself making history?
KW: I’d like to think that I’m part of a current women’s movement that’s bigger than the individual and more about building communities in the emerging immersive space in which everyone feels not just comfortable but encouraged to participate. As women, we’ll only make our movement stronger by opening the doors to all who feel that the status quo is not working for them.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young girl considering a career in tech or the arts, what would it be and why?
KW: Tech and the arts are complementary, and I would urge girls to explore both fields and find their own way to combine the two. Technology is flexible in that it can be utilitarian, entertainment, or somewhere in between. I think that in between space is the most interesting, and the doors are wide open for new innovators.
How do you see women pushing the state of the art forward in the fields of augmented and virtual reality?
KW: Women in the fields of augmented and virtual reality have really been pushing boundaries in terms of defining their roles. I think this enhances the content that’s being put out because it encourages more collaboration on all fronts.
Mar 09, 2020 at 06:07