Lethbridge College planning yearly VR Conference in VR following overwhelming success

Join Lethbridge College and our Alberta Chapter here

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 9.29.25 AM.png

LETHBRIDGE – After the success of the inaugural event, Lethbridge College has announced Merging Realities: An Event of Multiple Perspectives will be moving forward as an annual affair.

The college hosted the world’s first full-day conference, held completely in virtual reality, back on April 26.

Hone Virtual Education Ltd. CEO Alex Jackson, who is also president of the Alberta chapter of the international VR/AR Association, says the virtual and augmented reality industry is being built on firsts, and Merging Realities was no exception to that.

“This event showcased the potential of this technology to bring the world together by simply pushing the power button. The future is now.”

Since the convention was the first of its kind, Mike McCready, an instructor in Lethbridge College’s Multimedia Production program, says there was no precedent to guide the planning team.

“The virtual reality community supported us and helped to create an exciting buzz around Merging Realities, significantly contributing to its success,” McCready continued. “I’m excited to see how much bigger it can grow in future years.”

A release from the college states Merging Realities brought together industry leaders in virtual and augmented reality to explore applications and future advances.

Keynote speakers from Google and other powerhouse companies shared the exciting applications of VR and AR and offered important networking opportunities to those in attendance.

While some participants gathered on-site at Lethbridge College, the majority joined in virtually from around the world.

Participants from five continents, 16 countries and 84 cities took part either in-person or online.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 9.32.01 AM.png

Additionally, the event prompted:

- 712 live views and a total of 12,690 minutes watched on Twitch, a live streaming video platform
- 1,509 unique visits to the Merging Realities webpage
- 2,957,726 impressions of the #mergingrealities2018 hashtag on Twitter

College organizers say the event would not have been possible without Doghead Simulations’ Rumii platform. The company supplied technical support, licensing and mentorship to organizers.

“Merging Realities was a game changer for our Rumii software, bringing to life our vision at Doghead Simulations for a world that is further connected by technology and virtual reality,” Doghead Simulations Chief Marketing Officer Amber Osborne said.

The innovative and interactive Merging Realities conference helped Lethbridge College in its goal to position itself at the helm of VR and AR development in post-secondary education.

Kris Hodgson, chair of the college’s School of Media and Design, says they are leading the way for people who are interested in getting involved with new and emerging technology.

“Being involved in the early stages of VR and AR means that as the technology evolves, we will play an important role in shaping the way educators and industries use the medium. This industry is moving so rapidly that people who have been in it for only one to two years are now subject matter experts,” Hodgson said.

As the interest and demand for virtual and augmented reality increases, the college will look to share its growing expertise with the community through Corporate and Continuing Education courses beginning this fall.

A date for the second annual Merging Realities conference will be announced in the coming months.


Join Lethbridge College and our Alberta Chapter here