The VRARA GS Round Up: Our Top 5 Highlights from the VR/AR Global Summit

The VRAR Association’s Global Summit, organized by Vancouver chapter board director Anne Marie Enns, was an innovative delight of engaging presentations, industry networking and captivating demos of the present and future XR technology. With over 800 industry professionals in attendance, plus 100 speakers, the conference was a great way for enthusiasts to form valuable relationships and collaborate on new and exciting projects.

Here’s our shortlist:

1) Amazon announced its Sumerian AR/VR challenge at the Summit


“Amazon Sumerian lets you create and run virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D applications quickly and easily without requiring any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise.”

Amazon’s hackathon was a great opportunity for all hackers, hu$tlers and technophiles to get a taste of Amazon’s new Sumerian software and compete for over $100K worth of prizes. Without requiring any specialist coding or experience, attendees were able to try the new development tool and build out experiences for one of the following categories: Education, Training, and Simulations; Brand Engagement and Retail; Entertainment, Hospitality and Media or Other (new product/service, etc).

It’s not over! There’s still time to submit your builds for Amazon’s review. Deadline is January 8th! Find out more here.

2) Intel brought its ‘Classroom of the Future’ to Vancouver


When perusing the conference floor, it was difficult to not be mesmerised by the flashy, blue luminous frame in the top right-hand corner of the conference hall. We were excited to have Intel’s ‘Classroom of the Future’ at the Global Summit as a perfect use case of VR ameliorating current learning resources. After being taken to your desk in the futuristic space equipped with your own VR headset, you enter into a virtual world representation of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. No longer bound to the confines of a classroom, you are able to get close to the artefacts and showpieces whilst walking about the space. A perfect solution for teachers wanting to take the stress out of field trips and who wish to give a deeper context to their teaching.

The classroom is so in the future, we almost can’t call it a classroom at all. A clever installation by Intel to question the need for physical spaces in the future.

3) Cathy Hackl Introduced Us to A New Westworld-Style XR Artistry

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Is there anything more unnerving - yet totally fascinating - about how much the artistry in XR has developed over the last few years? Futurist and leading XR thought leader, Cathy Hackl, seemed to think so and highlighted these developments through a ‘Real or XR?’ interactive game to start her keynote. These had the audience spellbound as results weren’t quite as some had predicted...

4) Embodied Labs Wins the Global Summit Pitchfest

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Carrie Shaw, CEO and Founder of ‘Embodied Labs’ has the goal of ‘revolutionizing the way healthcare providers, caregivers, and patients learn about human health.’ Her incredible and moving story prompted her to create a revolutionary VR experience that puts wearers in the body of the sufferer with Alzheimer's. Carrie states that ‘by understanding the science of the brain and the story of the person who has the disease, that together will enable caregivers to be better care providers.’

Congratulations to Carrie and her team at Embodied Labs, a well-deserving winner of the prize money to help further the cause!

5)  VEC’s Speed Dating Provides Unique Networking Opportunity  


The Vancouver Economic Commission held their great ‘Speed Dating’ event on Friday, and it was a tremendous success! With many people flooding in from all areas of the conference hall to network over a glass (or two), it provided the perfect environment for intense, free-flowing discussion with fellow attendees - no small talk allowed!

Special thanks to Nancy Basi for organizing the event.

With such an array of incredible experiences at the VRARA Global Summit 2018, our shortlist provides a small taste of the exciting array that was on offer. For those who were unable to attend this year - or who simply wish to relive the weekend -  check out the video by Novus TV on this year’s event here!

See you all in 2019!