Recap of VRARA Russia (St. Petersburg) Chapter Kickoff Event

By Sergey Doudy, Co-President of the Russia Chapter of VRARA

Russia's IT and tech spheres are rapidly growing and show no signs of slowing down, and the VR/AR industry is no exception. With a plethora of talented programmers and forward-looking companies, there is a lot of interest in the development and adoption of VR and AR technologies. The Russia chapter of VRARA held its first meeting in the Russian northern culture capital, St. Petersburg, in April 2017.

We partnered with Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University, a leading engineering and research institute, to host the event and had a turnout of over 80 people. Three guest companies presented their views and outlooks from the enterprise, education, and entertainment standpoints which gave an in-depth overview of where the VR/AR industry as a whole is moving. We had a unique and fun networking experience before and after the presentations thanks to a guest DJ and creative-thinking contest for a chance to win prizes.

We kicked off the evening with Cerevrum discussing the implications of virtual reality on the sphere of education and the ways VR is drastically changing the way students learn. Cerevrum showed off Skill Hub VR, a unique platform for education which can be employed for an all-encompassing approach allowing for the presentation of empirical material via VR for semantic education.

Next we jumped to our enterprise segment, where Planoplan, one of the co-chairs of VRARA’s real-estate committee, covered the opportunities virtual reality has opened up to real-estate marketing. Planoplan showed its editor, a simple 3D room planner for creating interior design, renderings, VR room tours and calculating home renovation costs which gives would-be homebuyers the ability to virtually “visit” homes from anywhere in the world. Planoplan brought a few mobile VR units to let the audience experience real-estate home and apartment walkthroughs for themselves.

Finally, we dove into VR from the standpoint of entertainment. Panoramik, who create games for various platforms including mobile, social media, and Steam, went over the current state of the VR gaming industry and discussed the pain points it currently faces and the revolutionary future of VR technologies that’s to come. After the presentation, we launched Panoramik’s current VR games on an HTC Vive giving the audience the opportunity to experience the magic of games in virtual space.

We asked our audience to think of the most unique yet viable applications of VR/AR technologies for the future and awarded the top 2 creators of the best answers with mobile VR units from Fibrum and Piligrim XXI. The most creative answer actually warranted the top prize - an opportunity for an internship in one of St. Petersburg's game and VR development studios.

The Russian chapter of VRARA will hold a meetup every quarter and will alternate between St. Petersburg and Moscow for the meeting locations where attendees can learn about the fast-paced world of VR/AR and immerse themselves in the world of virtual reality firsthand. VRARA members and interested public alike: we will be happy to see you at our next event!

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To get in touch with Michael Doudy and Sergey Doudy, the co-presidents of the Russian Chapter of VRARA, see the contact info here