Bay Area: VR Hackathon this Weekend

In all of the great VR events happening out there (including VRARA's), one good way to bring out the sector's true innovative mojo is with a good old hackathon. 

In that spirit VR/AR Association SF chapter has partnered with for its next event at the Microsoft Reactor Dec 2-4.  The event's official details are below. 

Boost Your VR IQ: VRX 2016

In VRARA's continued partnerships throughout the event world, the latest is VRX 2016. Taking place 12/7 & 12/8 in San Francisco it features heavy-hitter speakers from HTC to AMD. 

With a theme grounded in VR's business growth and cultural immersion, it promises lots of concrete learnings (agenda here), not to mention networking with industry influencers. 

VRARA is proud to be a media partner, meaning we'll not only be there but association members save 15 percent with our discount code. Email if interested.

What's On VR/AR's Horizon?: VRS 2016 Dispatch

We're kept busy enough with current VR/AR innovation, but what's on the longer-term horizon? This was the topic of a panel I moderated at Greenlight Insights' VRS 2016.

The panel's theme had a subtext of AR and MR, given their longer-term horizon. But there are also future developments in VR, such as lightfields, haptics and new use cases. 

On the AR front, more than half the panel represented AR glasses, including Meta, Atheer and ODG. But the similarities stopped there, as each targets different areas. 

Meta is targeting several enterprise use cases, while Atheer is focused on manufacturing and medical applications and ODG is pursuing consumer and enterprise.

Meta's Stefano Baldassi, with a background in neuroscience, asserts that AR should cater to humans' innate cognition, such as intuitive gestures to manipulate graphical overlays.

This speaks Singularity University's Jody Medich's language. She focuses on design that builds from human cognition, rather than force new input languages (e.g. gamepads).

Atheer's Frank Nuovo applies this principle but in a different way. His AR glasses make use of graphics that everyone is used to, including icon-based screens within users' line of sight.

ODG is likewise focused on enterprise, said Nima Shams. But he foresees big opportunity in consumer applications, such as ODG's BMW integration for driving overlays. 

But it's not all enterprise and consumer. There are altruistic and socially valuable use cases such as AR's use in Education. Here, Lifelique is pioneering lots of learning tools. 

Ondrej Homola explains that learning can be accelerated through 3D models, housed in an open development platform, allowing students to be more immersed in subjects.

Medich continued the theme of altruism. Using VR's ability to dominate the visual cortex, it can be applied to things like pain therapy for injured soldiers or burn victims.

She describes the brain's habit of "skipping" steps to avoid sensory overload and to triage the most important incoming signals -- a fundamental human survival mechanism.

Building from that, VR's level of immersion can manipulate the brain to skip specific steps deliberately... such as pain receptors. There are myriad directions this can go.

In total, the prevailing theme was the vast applicability possible in VR and AR's next generation. The use cases will continue to develop, and move well beyond fun & games. 

The Evolution of Narratives: Event Next Week in San Jose

One common thread in several technologies -- especially VR -- is transforming how stories are told. This is the evolution of narratives, and the subject of next week's Narrative Summit.

Taking place Thursday in San Jose it will feature several in-the-round discussions with tech leaders and influencers. The VR/AR Association is an event partner and will join the discussion about how this evolution of storytelling is impacted by immersive technologies specifically.

Register here to watch the livestream or email to join in person. The event is free but it's invite only, with special consideration for VRARA.   

Designing VR Capture Strategies (webinar)

How are big brands designing VR experiences for their customers? There's certainly lots of early stage experimentation out there, and some best practices already emerging. 

On 10/18, the folks at Virtual Reality Summit will hold a webinar, co produced with the VR/AR Association, to expose two such examples: SeaWorld and the Sacramento Kings.

The webcast will host VRTUL and Adam Snell in a discussion about their design experiences, the VR cameras they built, production pipeline, and ultimately the final outcome.

You can read more about the webinar and register (free) here

VR/AR is All About Content: New Content Horizons, L.A.

As we've written and discussed at VRARA events, content creation will be a critical part of VR/AR ecosystems. Everyone is talking about the gadgetry -- which is also important -- but content could be a gating factor to the true size and pace of VR/AR opportunities. 

New Content Horizons is set against this backdrop. Taking place in L.A. May 16th & 17th, it will explore business opportunities in home entertainment and broadcast sectors. The goal is to explore services, hardware and content plays, many of which will shape VR/AR landscapes. 

Confirmed speakers so far include Twitter, Google, Samsung, Turner Sports, Intel, NextVR and several others. [From the event's own collateral], it will also cover: 

  • How Robust is the Traditional Pay-TV Business Model?
  • The Evolution of Subscription Video on Demand - Where Now?
  • The Future of Premium Sports
  • Embracing the Hollywood Studio Challenge
  • Unleashing the Potential for Kids Content
  • Monetisation through Social and Discovery
  • How will Audio Enhance the Next Generation Video Experience?
  • 4K, UHD and Beyond
  • Virtual and Mixed Reality

We hope to see you there. 


The VR/AR Association has partnered with Futuresource Consulting to offer a 10 percent discount to readers of this blog. Use the discount "FSVRAR10" when registering

VR/AR Events Galore

In all the excitement surrounding VR and AR, there are a few upcoming events we'd like to bring to the attention of VR/AR Beat readers, some of which are this week. 

In chronological order, the first of these takes place Tuesday and Wednesday: Greenlight VR's web summit will kick off with a social event, followed by a full day of online sessions. The highlights will include a VR Analytics Showcase featuring CrowdOptic, Futuremark and others.

The second event is Thursday: our own San Francisco chapter launch. It will take place at Samsung's Mountain View campus and include an all star cast of speakers including Google, Samsung and Shel Israel.

And for all you New Yorkers we'll be having the corresponding NYC chapter launch next Tuesday. Hope to see you at all three events.