On August 7th, the VRARA Seattle Chapter had an interactive conversation with several influencers in the Seattle immersive community -- roughly 50 people showed up on a Tuesday night for an panel and open dialog we called and Innovation Pub. This discussion focused on the Seattle immersive technology landscape, what we consider success, and what an organization like the VRARA can do add value in a city with an already strong VR and AR presence.
The discussion was moderated by the new Seattle Chapter President, Nirav Desai and had panelists including:
- Vinay Narayan, VP at HTC America in the Vive business unit;
- Elizabeth Scallon, Director of the University of Washington's CoMotion Labs and their VR/AR incubator;
- Trond Nilsen, Founder of the Seattle Immersive Technology Association and organizer of a series of VR Hackathon around the world.
The key takeaways included:
- A desire to document the strength of the immersive landscape in Seattle; the VRARA will build of the landscapes we have for other cities and document Seattle;
- There is a stong developer community; however, as the industry has pivoted from consumer to the enterprise, we could help with sector focused business literacy events for this community;
- There were requests for mentorship; we will look into developing such a program.
Also, Vinay, Elizabeth, and Trond all agreed to join the Seattle Chapter's Advisory Board where they will help for the above three goals and guiding the chapter to best serve the needs of its membership in Seattle and globally. We welcome them to the team and look forward to learning from their insights.
Finally, moving forward, the VRARA Seattle Chapter is supporting the following upcoming events:
- September 14-16: the next Seattle VR Hackathon (https://vrhackathon.web3d.org/seattle-2018-09/). On Saturday, the 15th, we will have our next Innovation Pub event to further refine and progress the goals above.
- September 21-22: The VR Global Summit -- The Seattle Chapter is working to ensure there is a strong Cascadia Corridor presence at this major event in the Pacific Northwest.