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LETHBRIDGE – The very real world of virtual reality will be explored during an innovative industry-leading conference hosted by Lethbridge College.
Merging Realities: An Event of Multiple Perspectives is taking place on April 26, and the conference will feature renowned guests from the fields of virtual and augmented reality.
They will be speaking to participants who can join in from around the world.
This is made possible by being the first full-day conference to be hosted completely in virtual reality.
Kris Hodgson, interim chair of Lethbridge College’s School of Media and Design, says many virtual meetings have been held around the world, but this is the first conference they know of will spend an entire day in the virtual setting.
“Industry-leading speakers will highlight the latest advances in virtual and augmented reality. Our Multimedia Production program has spearheaded this event, led by instructor Mike McCready and his students, and it's truly incredible what has been accomplished in only a few months.”
A release states that due to high demand only a limited number of seats are available in VR for each session and will be held for those who have VR headsets.
However, all attendees will be able to view all sessions via live streaming with a dozen speakers from a variety of backgrounds scheduled to speak throughout the day.
Keynote presenters include:
- Alan Smithson: co-founder and CEO of MetaVRse. Alan has positioned himself as a leader in business applications for VR/AR.
- Alex Katzen: Google's Daydream business development team content specialist. Alex works with third-party VR and AR developers to support the ecosystem and bring quality content to the Google platform.
- Cathy Hackl: VR/AR global speaker, producer and marketing futurist. Cathy is an Emmy-nominated communicator turned author, named by IZEA and Onalytica as a leading AR/VR influencer and by NBC News as one of the top women working in virtual reality.
Multimedia Production instructor Mike McCready says Merging Realities is a unique event where students and industry are working together to educate the community on virtual and augmented reality.
“The enthusiastic early response is a clear indicator that there are a need and interest for training in this field.”
Lethbridge College is quickly establishing its credentials as a leader in VR/AR, recently joining the international VR/AR Association.
McCready and Hodgson will serve as co-presidents of the Alberta Chapter of VRARA.
The membership gives the college access to resources as it begins to integrate VR/AR into its programming across campus.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg for the work in VR/AR that the School of Media and Design is pursuing,” Hodgson continued. “We look forward to collaborating further with industry across the globe.”
The Merging Realities event will culminate with a business mixer from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the college, which is open to anyone interested in learning more about the many applications for VR/AR.
A full itinerary of the event can be found here.