At Primacy, we’re all about spreading good vibes. That’s why we created GivLuv, a first-of-its-kind virtual reality donation platform to help raise funds for charities around the world that need them most. GivLuv empowers others to donate to their favorite causes and give back where they can, easily and fun-ily. We know that’s not a real word, but that’s what we do at Primacy – we invent. We sat down with Justin Lutz, Lead Innovation Technologist at Primacy, and one of GivLuv’s inventors, to get an inside look at what’s behind the GivLuv lens. What exactly is GivLuv? GivLuv is a charitable donation platform that’s built specifically for Virtual Reality. It gives users the chance to stay connected with charities that mean a lot to them and introduces them to new ones they might want to help. People can download the app and experience stories from each of these organizations and then make a donation to them right within the platform. That ability to make in-headset donations is a first for the VR industry. Why Primacy? What qualifies your team to create an app like GivLuv? We’ve been exploring and discovering with this technology for several years now. Primacy was an early recipient of various virtual reality gear, such as Oculus Rift and Daydream. We’ve been actively involved in the evolution of VR and have developed several VR experiences for healthcare and higher education, from developing college tours to enabling users to experience surgeries within an operating room.
Why did you feel the need to create it? We know the VR market is growing rapidly. By January of 2017, 5 million Samsung Gear headsets had been ordered. We wanted to reach this market and bring a new experience to the VR world, one that exceeded the norm of this technology. We created this platform to allow users to donate to something that means a lot to them without ever having to take the headset off. Organizations know they have a greater chance of receiving a donation at the moment they make an impact with someone. With GivLuv, we wanted to make that moment even more impactful, inviting the viewer to donate at the exact time they feel compelled. Why is VR so important to charitable organizations? Virtual Reality is effective because it triggers mirror neurons within the brain. These neurons enable the viewer to mirror another person’s actions as if they’re in that person’s shoes. The beauty of GivLuv is that it marries reaction with action. You can experience the story, and as you’re feeling the impulse, you can donate right then. This is the first time that’s ever been possible. Before now, organizations have used VR to share their stories, but the functionality to enable donations within the platform was never created. Until now. What were the biggest challenges in creating GivLuv? Collecting information and displaying a keyboard within VR is difficult, because the input methods for virtual reality are different. This was our biggest obstacle in creating the platform, and we wanted to ensure this wouldn’t be a deterrent for users when they download the app. We had to get creative to figure out how to input name and credit card information, but we were able to come up with a pretty elegant solution that lets users read and enter their credit card number while keeping the headset on. What’s the future vision for GivLuv? We have big plans for GivLuv. In the next year, we expect to expand the app with an admin utility that lets our partners upload content on the fly. We want to open it up to allow user-generated content that will give anyone the opportunity to upload their information and share their stories to raise funds for their cause. I’m really excited to see the platform evolve and get more people participating. In my opinion, the possibilities (and hopefully the donations) are endless. When does it launch? We will be attending the Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality World Conference in Toronto from June 24th-26th where we’ll be introducing GivLuv to consumers for the first time. Want to attend? Register here and use discount code GivLuv2017 for 25% off your ticket! Can’t make it to Toronto? You’ll be able to experience GivLuv for yourself soon when it arrives in the Gear VR app store.