Vancouver, British Columbia is a leading creative hub at the forefront of interactive technology (report)

Download this report here

Reserve your spot at the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver here

British Columbia, Canada, is home to a creative cluster of world-class companies specializing in game development. As an international centre for console, social, and mobile game production, as well as an emerging hub for virtual reality technology, British Columbia offers highly skilled talent, a cost-competitive and convenient west coast location, and targeted incentives.

Join leading companies including Capcom Game Studio, EA (Electronic Arts), Microsoft, Sega, Eastside Games, and over 120 more studios that make up British Columbia’s creative cluster of game developers. With strong links to the U.S. west coast, Asia, and Europe, our interactive games sector is integrated with world markets and can handle the full range of development from concept through production.

If you want to locate your business in a thriving interactive technology ecosystem, or partner with innovative game developers, British Columbia is the right place to be — it’s where the creative revolution is taking off.


  • Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
  • Skilled labour force
  • High quality of life
  • Strategic West Coast location
  • Low corporate and personal income taxes
  • Targeted tax incentives

The Power and Potential of VR for Impact

By Davar Ardalan

Founder and Storyteller in Chief at IVOW & co-chair of the VRARA Storytelling Committee.

  My Beautiful Home  is one of the five 360/VR films selected in the 5th annual  Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York .

My Beautiful Home is one of the five 360/VR films selected in the 5th annual Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York.

As I considered how to select the 360/VR films for the 5th annual Socially Relevant Film Festival in New York, there were several criteria to include. How immersive and engaging were the films; what kind of impact did they have on us; did they have a creative approach to filming, sound, and storytelling; and finally, how original was the interaction? These questions were inspired by SwedenVR, an international VR competition that takes into consideration UN Sustainable Goals when judging films and their impact.  

My Beautiful Home and The Great, two of the 360/VR films showcased at this year’s festival, exemplify the transformative qualities of VR. Both films move you to your core but in completely different ways.

The Great invites you on an exhilarating dive with great white sharks. While the filmmaker is in a cage behind you or to your left or right, you’re immersed with a shark in crystal blue waters in the western frontiers of Mexico. The shark is free and you are mesmerized by the sheer strength and beauty of its nature and physique. The instant when you sense a shark coming towards you is surreal and powerful.

My Beautiful Home, set in the slums of Kibera, Kenya, although not nearly as well-produced as The Great, had much more of a personal impact on me. Lucy Ochieng of Kibera is our guide throughout this powerful story that chooses to dwell on the richness and universality of creativity and community rather than the extreme poverty that surrounds us. The spirit of the film is genuine and together with the narration, the whispers were effective in making me care and pay attention. Compared to the other films nominated, there was an unmatched depth and immersive sensibility to this film.  

Discovering the raw power of VR as an impactful storytelling tool has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career as a journalist. I spent two decades at NPR News producing national and international broadcasts including NPR's Weekend Edition, Tell Me More, and Morning Edition, where I helped shape the newsmagazines and was responsible for decisions that required elaborate coordination such as broadcasts from Baghdad, Kabul, New Orleans, and Ferguson, Missouri.

I left NPR in 2015 and joined the open innovation space. Working with SecondMuse, I designed a global immersive storytelling call-out around healthy eating in the South Pacific, funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange (DFAT iXc). The selected pilot programs, produced by storytelling agencies in Sydney and Melbourne, will launch in late April and are geared towards tackling malnutrition and bringing pride back to traditional diets via VR and gamification.

Tash Tan is the co-founder of S1T2 in Sydney and the creator of Beyond the Stars, an educational program that uses innovative technology, play-based learning tools, and storytelling mediums to inspire children in Fiji to adopt healthy living habits, self-educate on subjects from their school curriculum, and consider the impact their actions have on the environment. Set across the backdrop of the Pacific Islands, the heroes of Beyond the Stars journey with students across islands, through mountains, and into underwater caves searching for legendary sacred relics that have been imbued with the wisdom of an ancient civilization. This knowledge is the key to restoring health and prosperity in the Pacific and preserving the natural beauty of the land.

S1T2 uses virtual reality to introduce this story in a first-person format that allows children to embody their character’s journey in the virtual world. Starting from the comfort of a familiar classroom, the story quickly moves to magical environments, merging fiction with reality. In the VR experience of Beyond the Stars, the hero is the protagonist urging children to make choices in the story world -- a consistent theme used to underline the importance of decision-making when it comes to healthy living and nutrition.

Tan says that action starts with empowerment, and in Beyond the Stars this is a central motif. “We use technology to enrich our story by allowing as many aspects of the story world to be interactive,” Tan says. “This not only gives children the chance to try, and try again in a safe environment, but also creates an understanding that everyone has the power to make a difference. This application of gamification methodology is essential to teaching healthy living because we are faced with decisions and choices every day on what to eat, how to live our lives, and our adoption of local tradition and culture.”

The purpose of the virtual reality experience is to imbue a sense of wonder within each child so that when they are exposed to other low-tech mediums they manifest their imagination into the program.

“We utilize transmedia storytelling in a similar manner that Star Wars and Harry Potter share their characters, stories, and universes over multiple mediums,” says Tan. “From initial reports and evaluations, we’ve found that this approach is proving to be immensely rewarding even in an educational context, as children are not only able to articulate the narrative of Beyond the Stars, they are also able to demonstrate an understanding of the program learnings and impact outcomes behind the narrative.”

One of the key VR storytelling elements that S1T2 has introduced into the VR narrative is Masi -- a flying cloth made from treebark. Masi is the companion who guides our heroes on their VR journey. “He is a bit cheeky and likes to play games with our hero,” Tan says. “In one scene for example, Masi imitates the player’s movements accentuating your agency over the world. This in some way makes the fictional world feel more real -- you are a protagonist who has a reciprocal relationship with the characters in VR.”

Allan Soutaris of SecondMuse is the director of the Legends project. He says the key to making it successful is to involve stakeholders from across the island nation of Fiji -- including the Ministries of Education and Health, as well as teachers, students, and parents.

“From the outset, we've worked closely with educators, cultural advisors, and local artists to ensure the program is very much a product of Fiji for Fiji,” Soutaris points out. We consider those stakeholders as co-creators and owners of the program, and their input has informed key elements of the narrative, structure, and classroom delivery. Without the valuable insight provided by schools and communities, I don't believe the program would resonate nearly as much has it has so far. There is a real sense of magic to the narrative that could have only come from an approach such as this.”

The inspiration I found in my work with SecondMuse and the Legends Projects led me to start IVOW, a storytelling agency powered by AI & Culture. Part of our mission will be to strengthen metadata in 360/VR storytelling. It is said that the best stories are not just read or heard -- they are felt. VR provides us a unique way to live inside a story, to experience an imagined world and the real life of the characters and creatures that shape our existence.


Davar Ardalan is the founder of IVOW, a storytelling agency powered by AI and culture. She’s also senior advisor to the Legends project in the South Pacific along with Ben Kreimer, IVOW’s Director of Storytelling Technology. Ardalan was formerly the director of Storytelling and Engagement at SecondMuse and an award-winning journalist for National Public Radio from 1993–2015.

Lampix launches on Kickstarter: Personal-touch, no-screen tabletop Augmented Reality is here

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Lampix is live on Kickstarter


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What is Lampix?

Lampixis a truly interactive tabletop augmented reality system that uses machine learning and blockchain-based image sourcing to recognize, reveal and react to the visual world.

Connect to what you see

Lampix merges a few simple, familiar elements—and one groundbreaking element—into something new. At its core, Lampix looks like a fashionable LED table lamp, but it houses a high definition projector and camera that does more than just display your screen on a flat surface. Lampix recognizes fine hand movements and intelligently responds to an ever-growing list of real-world objects, inviting interaction on a whole new scale.

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Dynamic new scenes beyond your screens

Conference room and cubicles. Restaurants and stores. Kitchen tables and gaming tables. They all can come to life with Lampix. From sharing and collaborating on actual pen and paper documents, to rendering visually stunning worlds for gamers, with Lampix the possibilities for developers are wide open.

Powered by people, built on blockchain

Lampix is limited only by your imagination. That’s why we’ve created the PIX blockchain token system. PIX allows businesses and individuals to request and submit object reference images and category descriptions for the benefit of Lampix users and beyond. By building our robust object recognition platform this way, the system is decentralized and open to all users and developers. This will help generate a vast, always growing database of images to power unique applications across industries.

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Open call for apps + images

We’ve made Lampix Developer Edition as open and simple as possible. Leverage our powerful object detection system with your own HTML5 based apps. Need reference images for your app to recognize specific objects? Set a bounty and let the community come to your aid. When you’re ready to bring your app to market, sell your apps for PIX tokens to generate revenue.

The next step—join us

The Lampix visual ecosystem needs you. We’re looking for apps to help us blaze a trail for new kinds of interactivity, and images to grow our machine learning visual engine. But first, make a pledge on Kickstarter to help us get Lampix to our product release date.

Back Lampix on our Kickstarter page.

For more information about Lampix, visit

VRARA Sees 500% Growth By Connecting the VR AR Industry

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We’ve seen the future: Holograms, avatars and sci-fi like gesture based interfaces are all poised to trigger a real feeling. How you work, shop, and play are all being transformed by VR and AR. With technology hubs around the world now supporting VR/AR seemingly en masse, the way we communicate and consume data is migrating towards VR/AR. Who wouldn’t want an easier more fun way to do your daily tasks.

For enterprise and education, this not only means assimilating new information but also facilitating this information for your organizational needs. Being able to adopt the technology and smartly execute it will separate the winners from everybody else. Retailers who are contextually relevant will swipe up for sales, while enterprise companies that leverage VR/AR and AI will markedly bolster their offerings. So how do I get started, what can my company do now to stay current with the technology? The VR/AR Association (VRARA) provides training, creates industry standards, and most importantly connects companies, brands and developers.


VRARA is an international organization designed to foster collaboration between innovative companies and people in the VR and AR ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies. With 500% year-over-year growth, the VRARA has approx 4000 companies, brands, and developers registered — you get access to the largest ecosystem in the industry. Likewise, with constantly evolving technology in the ecosystem; the VRARA Industry Committee’s are helping define and solidify standards and best practices across multiple verticals.

Continuing with growth trajectory of the industry and requests of the member base, VRARA recently announced its hosting the VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver, taking place September 21-22, 2018. With VRARA’s industry events, conferences, and symposiums; the organization helps with providing an exclusive platform to spotlight visibility on players in the space and new developments for future growth.

Schell Games, Dwayne Waite, agrees, “Joining the VRARA supports our emphasis of maintaining the studio’s VR/AR momentum and we believe that joining the VRARA will increase the studio’s visibility as a primary player in the VR/AR environment.”

“As a leading manufacturer of AR smart glasses, we want to be deeply involved in VR/AR socialization and education across industries and verticals, which the VRARA facilitates through speaking engagements, conferences, and other events and activities.” Leon Laroue, Epson

VRARA has managed to gather the key players in the space, to foster collaboration and make sure the important discussions which need to happen to push the ecosystem forward are indeed happening.” Alban Denoyel Co-founder & CEO, at Sketchfab

“VRARA is a wonderful organization with a clear mission. We believe there are a lot of standards that still need to be developed in order to help increase adoption of VR AR technology. That’s one of the main reasons we joined VRARA; By being a part of these conversations and helping build these standards, Overstock can continue to give customers the best possible shopping experience.” Amit Goyal, SVP at Overstock   

Become a Member by March 30 and get 10% discount on Membership. Mention code “Discount10”. Apply here

Virtual Reality and Education 4.0

By Carlos J. Ochoa, Co-Chair Education Committee 

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Today, we are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. Developments in genetics, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing and biotechnology, to name just a few, are all building on and amplifying one another. This will lay the foundation for a revolution more comprehensive and all-encompassing than anything we have ever seen.

Smart systems—homes, factories, enterprises, grids or cities—will help tackle problems ranging from supply chain management to climate change. The rise of the sharing economy will allow people to monetize everything from their empty house to their car. The question, then, is how business, government and individuals will react to these developments. To prevent a worst-case scenario—technological change accompanied by talent shortages, mass unemployment and growing inequality—reskilling and upskilling of today’s workers will be critical.

Building Innovation Bridges
While much has been said about the need for reform in basic education, it is simply not possible to weather the current technological revolution by waiting for the next generation’s workforce to become better prepared. Instead, it is critical that businesses take an active role in supporting their current workforces through re-training, that individuals take a proactive approach to their own lifelong learning and that governments create the enabling environment, rapidly and creatively, to assist these efforts.

Disruptive changes to business models will have a profound impact on the employment landscape over the coming years. Many of the major drivers of transformation currently affecting global industries are expected to have a significant impact on jobs, ranging from significant job creation to job displacement, and from heightened labour productivity to widening skills gaps.

Education 4.0 vs Industry 4.0
In such a rapidly evolving employment landscape, the ability to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals in order to fully seize the opportunities presented by these trends—and to mitigate undesirable outcomes.

We can talk about Education 4.0 in a future and adequate context to train students in a scenario of needs and new skills demand for Industry 4.0. In this Industry 4.0 scenario, new technologies converge in a disruptive and complex ecosystem and basically comprise it.

The Smart Innovation Space

Advanced reality (Virtual, augmented, mixed…reality), Additive manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Cars/ Drones, Big Data and Real Time Analytics, Cloud Services, Cybersecurity, Digital Twins, Internet of Things, Machine-Machine interface, Robots, Total Systems Integration…

To do this, new training, skills and training are required, which will enable this new industrial revolution to be addressed in an efficient and sustainable manner.

  • Empowering teachers: Empowering and training teachers with tools and methods to become real entrepreneurs of the educational community and improve the engagement factor with students as coachers.
  • Diversity of time and space: Through immersive learning, students have the opportunity to study at different times and in different places, encouraging self-training.
  • Adaptive learning: Different levels of complexity will be adapted for each student, empowering those who present more difficulties for learning.
  • Experimental Learning: From a simply ‘learning’ topic to ‘interact and experiment’ the content. This allows a student to explore, to experience or to be involved in something “real”.
  • Free choice of content and learning path: Each student can prepare with the tools and topics needed to perform in the industry.
  • The Immersive Experience: Traditional educational materials fail to inspire and engage further learning with most students as it forces them into a form of memory testing rather than retaining knowledge through practice and immersive experience.
  • New Evaluation Methods and Processes: In this new context, new evaluation process has to be defined, according the new “student learning objectives”, and defining new performance indicators according to that. That means, the exams should change radically. With the help of technology and new methodologies, it is possible to carry out a complete follow-up on the training process, measuring the different indicators according the evaluation criteria, impact in society and added value provided.

Now, let´s think about it. This is the future that VR/AR technology promises and it’s not that far away.  Will you take it one-step further?  Participate in our Education Committee today!

Submit Your Virtual/Mixed Reality Research for the $10,000 Human Factors Prize

Submit here

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The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is inviting submissions for the 2018 Human Factors Prize for Excellence in Human Factors/Ergonomics Research. The topic for the 2018 Prize is virtual reality/mixed reality, and submissions should describe research pertaining to human factors issues in environments with a mixture of real and virtual elements, and the applications of these environments in various domains.

The Prize confers a $10,000 cash award and publication of the winning paper in the Society’s flagship journal, Human Factors. The winner will also present his or her paper in a special award ceremony at the HFES 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. Any researcher is eligible to submit work; membership in HFES is not required.

Submissions for the Human Factors Prize can report on the human factors research related to techniques, tools, or training to develop MR/VR to ensure safety and enhance performance in any domain and application area, including but not limited to

  • Aviation

  • Transportation

  • Oil and gas, power grid, nuclear energy

  • Military operations

  • Education

  • Gaming

  • Health

  • Politics

  • Terrorism

Submissions will be accepted between June 15 and July 16, 2018. For additional information about this year’s topic and the Human Factors Prize, please visit the Prize webpage at

Mobile AR Strategies and Business Models Materialize (new report)

To read the full report, subscribe to ARtillry Insights

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Augmented Reality (AR) comes in various forms, such as smartphones and smart glasses. Those are further segmented into consumer and enterprise uses. But the point along that spectrum that’s gained the most traction is consumer-geared mobile AR, utilizing the smartphones we all carry.

Apple’s ARkit and Google’s ARCore have democratized mobile AR with app-building tools, while Pokémon Go and Snapchat put it on the map with mainstream-friendly AR features. Though these apps aren’t “true AR,” it doesn’t matter: they’ve done AR a favor by supplying its gateway drug.

These early AR apps have also done the industry a favor by beginning to validate product and revenue models. What AR features do consumers want to use? And what will they pay for? Pokémon Go and Snapchat have already begun to answer these and other strategic questions.

Pokémon Go for example drove almost $1 billion in revenue in the second half of 2016 alone. It did this through in-app purchases and brand-collaborations to drive local offline commerce. These are a just a few potential business models that will develop and drive mobile AR revenues.

 Full year-by-year detail and category segmentation available in full report.

Full year-by-year detail and category segmentation available in full report.

Meanwhile, giants like Amazon, IKEA and BMW are pursuing AR strategies and likewise teaching us important lessons. For example, should AR live within standalone apps or be incubated as a feature within already-established apps? And what should AR features be called to attract mainstream users?

In terms of market size, ARtillry Intelligence projects consumer AR revenues to grow from $975 million in 2016 to $14.02 billion in 2021. Until 2021, most of that revenue will come from mobile AR apps, as smart glasses aren’t yet viable for consumer markets due to cost and style.

But how will this revenue materialize and what product and revenue models will be best positioned? In addition to industry giants and early movers mentioned above, the ecosystem contains developers, startups, media companies and brands. How will they deliver content and build value with mobile AR?

The best way to answer these questions is to examine today’s best practices, historical lessons and market trajectory. This report sets out to do that by surveying the landscape, and uncovering product and revenue strategies for anyone interested in tapping the mobile AR opportunity.

To read the full report and a library of XR research, subscribe to ARtillry Insights

Lampix Announces Its Official Membership in Global VR/AR Association

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New York, NY - Mar 01, 2018 - Lampix, a developer of tabletop augmented reality hardware and software, is pleased to announce that it has become the newest member of the global VR/AR Association (VRARA).

Both the VR/AR Association and Lampix are dedicated to fostering growth in the virtual reality and augmented reality industries.  As a member of VRARA, Lampix will participate in the Association’s initiatives through which Lampix will be connected with VR and AR organizations to accelerate the market with smart growth. “This is an important step ahead of our Lampix Developer Edition hardware and app ecosystem launch later this quarter as we engage the developer community with the tools to create amazing desktop augmented reality experiences that magically respond to objects and gestures,” says Gordon Meyer, Vice President of Marketing at Lampix.

In response to the new membership, the Association’s Global Executive Director, Kris Kolo, commented: “We welcome Lampix to our rapidly growing ecosystem and acknowledge their unique AR hardware/software solution that can enable next-gen user experiences.”

This is an important step ahead of our Lampix Developer Edition hardware and app ecosystem launch later this quarter as we engage the developer community with the tools to create amazing desktop augmented reality experiences that magically respond to objects and gestures.

Gordon Meyer

Vice President of Marketing

“We are excited to participate in the VR/AR Association and look forward to all of the opportunities that membership has to offer,” says Meyer.

For more information, please visit

About the VR/AR Association
The VR/AR Association (VRARA) is an international organization designed to foster  collaboration between innovative companies and people in the virtual reality and augmented reality ecosystem that accelerates growth, fosters research and education, helps develop industry standards, connects member organizations and promotes the services of member companies. 

About Lampix
Lampix is an augmented reality smart projector and camera system that recognizes hands and objects to transform any existing horizontal surface into an interactive one. Lampix uses the power of computer vision combined with high definition video projection to provide a dazzling digital experience on a desk or tabletop. Lampix has engaged with enterprise clients ranging from Bloomberg to PwC to BMW and with large retail chains. In Fall 2016, Lampix was one of the winners chosen from hundreds of participants at Highway 1, the premier hardware startup accelerator competition. In 2017, Lampix won first place in the Augmented and Virtual Reality category at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Accelerator Pitch Event. Lampix was also named Best Augmented Reality Display of 2017 by Next Reality. To learn more, visit us at

VRARA Portugal news: Associação vai calcular quanto vale ecossistema RV/RA

For more info email or see Portugal Chapter page here

O mercado nacional de realidade aumentada e virtual é composta por, pelo menos, 39 empresas. O capítulo português da VRARA vai calcular o valor global de negócio a partir de Março.

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O capítulo português da associação realidade virtual e realidade aumentada (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association – VRARA) apresentou, em Lisboa, o mapa das empresas que operam na área em Portugal.

Segundo o levantamento do capítulo português, são 39 empresas que se destacam pela “qualidade do trabalho publicado” e que “têm tudo para se destacarem internacionalmente e para receber mais e melhores projectos, clientes e investimento nesta área”, explica Luís Martins, co-presidente do capítulo de Lisboa da VRARA.  

O objectivo deste levantamento e da realização do mapa do ecossistema do sector (na imagem), é “começar a comunicar com investidores estrangeiros que Portugal tem capacidade para albergar centros de competências nesta área, porque temos bastante talento nesta área”, explica o mesmo representante.

O próximo desafio do capítulo nacional é avaliar quanto vale o mercado da realidade virtual/aumentada em Portugal, estando prevista a realização de um estudo durante os meses de Março e Abril, assinalou Luís Martins.

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Ecossistema português das realidades virtual e aumentada.

Na reunião da semana passada a associação propôs-se replicar a nível nacional o modelo de ecossistema de Vancouver, distribuindo as empresas pelos diferentes segmentos: conteúdos; ferramentas e soluções; educação; jogos; comunidade e hardware.   

A VRARA é a associação global de profissionais de realidade virtual e realidade aumentada que “visa criar uma comunidade global de membros através de capítulos locais”, explica Luís Martins. Actualmente existem 52 capítulos em 26 países, incluindo o capítulo português criado em Setembro de 2017.

O capítulo português conta com cinco membros e tem como estratégia “promover o talento português internacionalmente, por forma a gerar oportunidades internacionais para os membros da associação”. Globalmente, a associação de origem norte-americana existe há três ano e conta com mais de 4000 associados incluindo a Nestle e a Epson.


Join VRARA SF at XD Immersive (May 3-4)

VRARA members, contact us for a discount code to attend

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VRARA SF has partnered with the XD Immersive conference, taking place in San Francisco May 3-4. That means lots of things but most of all it means that VRARA members get a deep discount (35%) on early bird tickets (contact us for discount code).

XD Immersive is part of a new event series from UX Strat. Focused on UX design, and management, it will zero in on a range of business cases in the XR world. And to do that, it has assembled A-list speakers from Google, Samsung, Microsoft, IBM, frog design, Meta, Intel, Beast, Immersion, and many more.

Join us on May 3-4 in the ultra-modern bespoke venue on Market Street. More about the event can be seen here, and we hope to see you there. 

VRARA members, contact us for a discount code to attend.

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Bay Area: An Evening Out with VRARA and Tom Emrich

Register here, VRARA members are invited to a dinner that immediately follows drinks & networking.


VRARA SF is assembling on March 7th for a social evening out with SF's VR/AR community. Join us at the hip and game-filled Coin-Op for happy-hour drinks, food and networking with SF's biggest XR influencers. We'll even have Ready Player One-themed prizes and trivia.

Our celebrity guest is Super Ventures' Tom Emrich (bio below). We're lucky enough to have him along to mingle with us and share ideas and stories. We're taking over a section of the venue including a (no host) bar and we'll provide light fare and giveaways. Coin-Op also has happy hour drink prices from 4-7. More information and registration can be found here.

Following the networking and cocktail hour is a (no host) dinner with Tom for VR/AR Association members at 7:30. If you'd like to join us for dinner, please RSVP with that designation by 3/05. If you'd like to become a member, contact us



Sometimes called the “man from the future” Tom Emrich is a leading voice in augmented reality, virtual reality and wearable tech. He is committed to driving adoption and innovation in technology which is augmenting the human experience.

Tom is an active investor and founding partner at Super Ventures, the first fund dedicated to augmented reality. He is also a community builder having grown a community of over 250,000 professionals dedicated to augmented reality, virtual reality & wearable technology through We Are Wearables, the largest wearable tech community in the world and AWE (Augmented World Expo) the world's #1 AR+VR conference and expo with annual dates in the USA, China and Europe.

Tom has been recognized as a top global influencer for AR, VR and wearables and has presented talks at major conferences such as TEDx, SXSW, TechCrunch Disrupt SF, CVR, WT Conference, Wearable Technology Show, TOM*FW, and FITC. He regularly appears in the media as a futurist and expert including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Space Channel, CNN, BBC, CBC, Readers Digest, Globe and Mail and FASHION magazine.

Tom's passion for this space is driven by his belief that wearable tech plays a critical role in our human evolution. See more on Tom's website.

Register here, VRARA members are invited to a dinner that immediately follows drinks & networking.

VR & AR in Retail - Examples of Use Cases & Solutions

VR experts Spinview follow the mantra 'don't do VR for VR's sake' and focus on providing great business results for retailers looking to transform the consumer experience. Their in-situ environments and cutting-edge eye-tracking research gives deep analysis in a cost-effective way that has already won awards. 

‘Our VR and AR technology uses visual insights to enable brands to understand how their customers make decisions and how to influence them.  We drive results that are both more accurate and cost-effective than real-world research - and we are really only at the start of the journey.’
— Linda Wade, CEO, Spinview

Co-Authors: Kris Kolo, Nathan Pettyjohn, Jordan Bloomingdale, Barry Hoffman, Danny Gordon, John Wright


IKEA application developed by TakeLeap 


Participate in our Retail Committee

Retail is making shopping and buying easier and more fun again. For some shoppers and products alike, the full product view is really needed. Below are examples of what our Members are up to. 

For the in-store experience, retailers can now leverage InContext Solutions VR simulations that let executives test store campaigns and displays with analysis and feedback from the program. This could be a game changer for high volume stores, potentially making every customer a conversion.  In one example, the results showed improved KPIs: 7% increase in category sales 14% increase in private label sales; 5% increase in units per buyer; Customer ROI: $920K in incremental sales and $275K in category margin for the retailer.

In another InContext example, by referencing the sales and shopper impact data collected from Indicators, the executive team made a speedy decision about which signage strategy would meet their goals. The results showed Units per buyer and sales for key center of store categories increased within the first 12 weeks following the signage campaign implementation. Over time, the client attributed a Y1 topline increase of $1m to this campaign.

On the product side, Aisle411 3D product cloud enables 3D scanning of consumer products tailored with brand information for the full turnkey needs of a product. The 3D Product Cloud system reduces the time of creating 3D models by an average of 65-70%.  Brands can easily give access to their 3D product models to app developer partners, marketing agency partners, and retail partners;  for use in VR/AR commerce apps and websites. 90% of users prefer augmented reality navigation and experiences over 2D mobile app experiences.   

In another example of aislle level AR, Blue Visual Effects, have been working with the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Franchise to create a fully integrated augmented store package. This includes building deeper messages via AR in all in-store signage, having AR pharmacy hosts that direct consumers to specific departments within the store, co-branded Augmented products with shelf talker callouts and instant coupon delivery based on AR actuation.  

On the lighter side, Strata’s Nu Skin’s Lumi Spa app lets users use a facial massager via AR to see how the product would work. The goal of being to engage customers and provide some entertainment for social sharing.

For Audi, ZeroLight undertakes a range of projects using cutting edge display devices and techniques; it’s virtual reality experience allows users to walk around to explore the car, utilising the large "play area" of the HTC Vive. The user digitally interacts with a fully configurable 5 million polygon car with advanced lighting and effects at 90Hz with sub 20ms latency. Such high performance from the hardware is made possible by ZeroLight's highly optimised visualization solution and means a sickness-free experience for the customer.

With UrCommerce AR solution, users can view products in 3D from their mobile device. For example, they are working with the company ColorMods LLC ; using Augmented Reality to revamp their advertising initiatives, both in print and on their website. They are building out 3D models of the computers that they sell so that customers can visualize them on their phones or tablets. The company also creates posters that enable AR to showcase a product; and even allows users who like the product to purchase via in app link.

Rounding out the promising marriage between retail and AR is Auredi, an augmented reality dining platform, which combines both an in-restaurant and social experience for restaurants and patrons to utilize 3D models of dishes on mobile devices. The company has already signed up several Los Angeles restaurants in a private beta, with customers currently exploring and enjoying all the innovative features the platform offers.

See more use case and case studies here 

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California Newspaper, Ledger, Brings its Pages to Life with Augmented Reality Thanks to Strata

Northern California Newspaper, Ledger Dispatch, Brings its Pages to Life

Augmented Reality Technology Aims to Reinvigorate Newspapers' Revenue while Delighting Readers

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JACKSON, Calif., Feb. 13, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In a dramatic move that promises to reinvigorate newspapers' revenues while delighting their readers, a Northern California paper is harnessing augmented reality technology to bring its pages to life.

The groundbreaking Interactive News initiative by the Ledger Dispatch allows readers to use their smartphones to "see" trigger images in the newspaper and access a deeper level of content. After downloading an app, readers simply hold their Android or iPhone device over photos or blocks of text to launch the interactive experience.

"With this tool, readers can use their newspaper as a launch pad to watch movie trailers, read the local crime log, shop for a new car, view the last few minutes of a high school basketball game, or just explore different dimensions of a news story," said Jack Mitchell, publisher of the Ledger Dispatch, a twice-weekly paper based in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

"The possibilities are endless. With just a smartphone, the traditional newspaper becomes a 21st Century interactive experience," said Mitchell.

Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality, or AR, does not require the use of special glasses, computers, or other accessories. Its power lies in the ability to overlay digital imagery on a person's view of the real world, using a smartphone.

"This is a great technological tool for consumers because it's easy to use and works on everyone's smartphone," said John Wright, chief executive officer of Strata, a Utah-based developer of some of the first AR platforms and the exclusive development partner for Interactive News. "It turns the newspaper into a portal for accessing limitless opportunities in a reader's local community and beyond." 

AR is perhaps best known for its 2016 application in the wildly popular Pokémon Go game. But the technology is rapidly gaining steam in mainstream business applications as well, and some analysts predict it will drive a $20-billion market by 2020. Nissan recently launched an AR experience that lets shoppers view cars through a device that delivers guided tours of automobile features by Star Wars droids and Stormtroopers.

With that application, however, consumers need to visit a showroom. With Interactive News, users can enjoy AR while eating oatmeal and reading the paper at their own breakfast table.

The Ledger Dispatch project is believed to be the first to use AR to enhance a newspaper. And while the paper – with a circulation of 6,000 and a staff of 12 – may seem a bit small for a meaningful demonstration project, its owners hope to spread the technology to others in the struggling newspaper industry.

Mitchell said the technology holds tremendous appeal for advertisers, whose steady abandonment of newspapers has sent industry revenues plummeting. With AR, businesses can layer video, audio and other features behind an advertisement in the pages of the paper, enhancing their ability to woo customers.

"We believe newspapers are the glue that holds communities together, and we know they are struggling to remain solvent and relevant in the digital world," said Rich Hoffman, chief executive officer of the Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians, which owns the Ledger Dispatch. "We think the AR experience can help newspapers win back readers, and we want to make this technology accessible to them on a wide scale."

"Readers today are looking for more, and newspapers are trying everything to reinvent themselves," said Adam Dalton, chairman of the Jackson Rancheria Band. "AR could be a game-changer for this industry, and we are all in to make that happen."

On Friday (2/9/18), Mitchell formally launched the AR technology in the pages of the Ledger Dispatch, which covers Amador and Calaveras counties, the heart of California's famed Gold Country. The launch generated an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from readers.

One example: by holding a phone over the acorn symbol on the paper's front-page masthead, readers can hear an audio round-up of news from the day. Another example: by holding a phone over an ad for a local pub, you can hear a tune played by its featured musical act.

"Newspapers are my lifelong passion, and I am very optimistic about where this technology can take us as an industry," Mitchell said. "How optimistic? For the first time in ages, we're hiring."

Mitchell plans to make a formal presentation to the California News Publishers Association later this month, but the technology is available now at

Ledger Dispatch
The Ledger Dispatch is a twice weekly, locally owned and operated, full-service newspaper that strives to innovate on behalf the consumer. Serving Amador and Calaveras Counties in California, the Ledger Dispatch most recently integrated augmented reality into its digital platforms, becoming first newspaper to do so. The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians purchased the Ledger Dispatch in 2016.

Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians
The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe that owns and operates Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, located in the Sierra foothills town of Jackson, California. A sovereign government, the Rancheria is dedicated to developing projects that not only enhance the tribe's ability to remain self-reliant, but also reflect a commitment to be a good neighbor. Most recently, the Rancheria acquired the Ledger Dispatch newspaper as a part of their continued support of the community.  

Strata (Strata Mixed Reality Inc.) is an award-winning leader in 3D, VR and AR technologies and applications. The Strata AR platform brings the power of augmented reality to non-technical users for markets and industries as varied as newspapers, utilities and retail. "Strata" is a registered trademark of Strata Mixed Reality Inc. Learn more about Strata at

Contact: Doug Elmets
(916) 329-9180

The VR AR Ecosystem in Portugal. O ecossistema de realidade virtual e aumentada em Portugal não é uma miragem

By Luís Martins, VRARA Portugal Chapter

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We have 23 VR/AR agencies, games and content studios + 16 consultancies specialist tool developers (Ad management, BI on VR, CMS for VR/AR, outsourcing). We're talking about 39 companies contributing directly to our ecosystem, along with several communities, universities and training centers paving the way for talents growth. We have the skills, we have the challenges, we're inviting investors and large companies to test our ecosystem's effectiveness! I do believe Portugal can host nearshore development centers for any brand interested in these areas! 

Já há mais de 30 empresas a trabalhar (com sucesso) nas áreas da realidade virtual, realidade aumentada e realidade misturada em Portugal. A associação VRARA fez um mapa e Luis Martins garante que há muitos projetos para divulgar.

Quando se fala em realidade aumentada a maioria das pessoas lembram-se do Pokémon Go, o jogo que rapidamente se tornou um sucesso e obteve o recorde de se tornar a app mais descarregada do Mundo. Aqui a realidade aumentada servia para apontar o smartphone e usar a câmara para reconhecer a localização dos Pokémons a capturar, mas a tecnologia pode fazer muito mais, e não faltam bons exemplos disso mesmo. Em Portugal também.

O mapa que a representação portuguesa da VRARA – Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Association apresentou ontem mostra um ecossistema em crescimento, já com cerca de 30 empresas, que estão classificadas por atividade. “Com esta iniciativa podemos verificar que existem muitas empresas, num ecossistema que integra universidades, centros de formação e que já dinamiza vários eventos”, explicou ao SAPO TEK Luis Bravo Martins, co-presidente do Lisbon Chapter da VRARA.

É uma realidade que está a crescer e que ainda tem pouca visibilidade. “Sabemos uns dos outros, e vamos conhecendo alguns projetos, mas são desconhecidos da maioria das pessoas. Funciona muito em circuito fechado”, refere, admitindo que esta é uma situação que a associação quer mudar.

“Acredito que, com este mapa, podemos comunicar a investidores estrangeiros que Portugal tem capacidade para albergar Centros de Competências nesta área. Neste momento já temos bastante talento e experiência VR/AR nacional, como o mapa o provará”, sublinha.

A associação VRARA existe em 26 países e tem 52 chapters, que são no fundo “delegações” locais que trabalham em estreita ligação com as suas congéneres, através do Slack, e que desenvolvem iniciativas globais e grupos de trabalho focados em temas específicos.

Este mapa mostra as 23 empresas que trabalham conteúdo VR/AR, e que são especialistas em criar experiências, jogos ou suportes de comunicação específicos para VR/AR em Portugal, tanto em B2B como B2C. Juntam-se a essas 16 empresas que criaram ferramentas especificas para o ecossistema, como gestores de experiências, visualizadores de Business Intelligence, plataformas de publicidade em VR ou integradores de tecnologias. No total são 39 empresas que contribuem diretamente para este ecossistema, coadjuvadas por 3 comunidades, 3 espaços de Arcade VR, 3 universidades e 3 centros de formação que começam a trabalhar nesta área, como explica Luís Martins.




Um dos objetivos em Portugal é mostrar que este ecossistema está a crescer e que existe talento, competências tecnológicas e condições que rivalizam com outros países para o desenvolvimento de projetos nesta área. “Temos outras características, como o facto de estarmos na Europa, que contribuem diretamente para acolher investidores que queiram apostar nesta área”, justifica Luis Martins.

O próximo passo que a associação quer dar é realizar um estudo sobre a dimensão deste ecossistema que já existe, calculando valores de volume de negócios e número de profissionais envolvidos. Luis Martins admite que não sabem nem têm uma estimativa fiável sobre estes números que permitirão apurar a real dimensão deste mercado.

Tecnologia à procura de massificação

A tecnologia de realidade aumentada, realidade virtual e de realidade misturada, que conjuga as valências das duas, já não está propriamente na infância mas tem tido alguma dificuldade em massificar. O número de projetos está a crescer, com vários casos interessantes no mercado empresarial, e no lado do consumo são os equipamentos como o iPhone X, e iniciativas de grandes marcas como a Samsung, Google e Microsoft que ajudam a criar conhecimento no público não especializado.

“Esta era uma área que era geek e passou a ser mais comum. Ainda não é mainstream mas vai ser”, explica, reforçando a ideia de que a utilização da RA e RV nos smartphones tem um papel importante, que também os dispositivos como os Oculus e os Hololens da Microsoft, ou a PlayStation VR, ajudam a impulsionar.

Entusiasta confesso da tecnologia há vários anos, Luis Martins não tem também dificuldade em referir os obstáculos a uma maior massificação. “Não é ainda fácil criar dinâmicas para o consumidor final porque nem todos têm os dispositivos para interpretar a tecnologia da melhor forma”, admite. No mundo Apple o iOS oferece uma experiência mais harmonizada mas há muitos utilizadores de Android sem acesso às mesmas funcionalidades que chegam já aos equipamentos de todo de gama de algumas marcas como a Samsung ou a Asus.

Faltam também desenvolvimentos nos interfaces, que têm de ser fáceis e uma aposta no desenvolvimento de conteúdos que tirem partido deste hardware e dos kits existentes. E que exige muito trabalho de localização e investimento.

Luis Martins garante que o mercado empresarial está a mostrar muita dinâmica e que em Portugal há variadíssimos projetos com empresas de grande dimensão e de sectores mais tradicionais. E cita os CTT, a EDP e a Revigrés como exemplos.

“Tendo em conta as tendências, estamos a explorar oportunidades e com certeza nos próximos tempos há muita coisa que vai mudar”, antecipa.


Reserve your spot now for the First Summit about Immersive Technologies in Venice happening March 22-23

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The first summit about Immersive Technologies in Venice - March 22-23

We have discounted passes and exhibit discounts for VRARA Members. 

EICS Summit is 2 days of conferences on XR technologies, innovation and creativity.
Keynotes, speeches and networking inside the charming Venice Casino. 16 top speakers from the worlds of "Architecture, Art and Design", "Entertainment", "Healthcare" and "Industry 4.0". EICS Summit is not a fair and not a show. This is not another gaming event, here we approach business. EICS is built up and studied to involve the most important companies, professionals and investors working on new technologies.

Conference website here

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