Starting tomorrow (Wednesday, 25 October), VRDays 2017 kicks off the third edition of their conference. Three days of inspiring keynotes, expert sessions, workshops and seminars with leading thinkers and the most creative content!
Below are a few of the great talks I am excited to attend:
It all kicks off with a conference at DeLaMar Theatre to highlight the full scope of VR and its applications in healthcare, enterprise, science, media, arts and entertainment. Thursday and Friday there will be an exhibition to explore and engage with, and a host of workshops.
The speaker list is impressive with the who’s who of VR and AR in attendance. From a workshop hosted by Samantha Gorman and Danny Cannizzaro (founders of Tender Claws studio) to workshops on VR journalism and VR UX, VRDays is guaranteed to be an exhilarating immersion into a fascinating industry.
Tim Milliron who started at Pixar and is now Vice President of Engineering at Lytro, will be speaking on his experiences and his vision of the future.
Michael Gourlay, who wrote the visual effects system used in EA Games and patented algorithms for interactive, high-bandwidth online applications, will present his talk on the surprising ways mixed reality will empower us to achieve more.
In my life before Polymorph, I worked for nine years as a curator and exhibition designer at the South African Iziko Museums in Cape Town, so I’m looking forward to the Museum Morning which highlights the impact of XR (“X” suggests an unknown variable – an open ecosystem that will continue to expand) on cultural heritage and digital arts. Led by Margriet Schavemaker, the speakers will be investigating “…how paintings, photographs, sculpture and performance relate to this immersive technology? What exactly is an art experience? And is it possible to feel its power through Virtual Reality?” She will be speaking alongside Russ Rive and Liana Brazil who are in the planning phase for an emotional VR + AR experience for the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro.
Museum Morning is part of the Media, Arts & Entertainment Track. This track is one of the most creative spaces of the VR universe and will feature in-depth expert sessions, workshops and the Church of VR. The questions listed by VRDays: “What opportunities does VR bring to the existing realities? What tools do we have, which ones are we still in need of and how best to use the ones already there? What is the impact of XR on the creative industry – museums, journalism, arcades, cinema? What would be the perfect business model so that good money can be made? What are the hurdles and which steps (technical, creative, business) are yet to be made?” It is in this space that creative minds join with engineering minds and worlds are created.
The landscape of VR is such that it has incorporated aspects of many industries, such as gaming, design, healthcare, education and the list goes on. It is just as welcoming to writers and storytellers as it is to physics professors and engineers. The immense creativity and knowledge, as well as the ability to solve complex societal questions are the things that drive VR, AR and XR forward. I look forward to my three days at the conference, and am excited to bring the learning back home to my work with Polymorph.
Benjamin de Wit is Founder and Festival Director of VR Days, Europe’s leading creative professional VR/AR/MR event. De Wit was trained as an actor and worked with Ivo van Hove’s Toneelgroep Amsterdam from 2001-2007. Since then, he has developed several businesses including Spot On Agency (agency for actors) and Studio Stomp (digital agency). Benjamin de Wit is the driving force behind The Classical Story, a multi-reality experience for classical music. He is also on the board of Norma, the Dutch neighbouring rights organization for musicians and actors.
Daniel Doornink started his career at a large Dutch corporate (ING) where he gained lots of hands-on experience with Scrum, Agile and Lean Startup techniques. He put his experience to good use mentoring start-ups at Rockstart in Amsterdam and has been involved in their smart energy accelerator program. In 2014 he started the Dutch community VRNL with over a thousand members currently, bringing together everyone passionate about VR in the Netherlands. A year later he organised the first European meetup at NUMA in Paris, uniting the Dutch, German, Belgian and French communities and co-founded VRDAYS Europe. In 2015 he joined the Parisian-based startup VideoStitch as their VP Strategic Partnerships. Recently he founded VRBASE in Amsterdam with the goal of uniting several physical hotspots in Europe and to create a true VR/AR ecosystem. VRBASE is an incubator/co-working space and (experimental) content production company.