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An agenda built to cover all the burning issues as VR goes mainstream

Please see the below start and end times for guidance for booking travel to and from the event.

Day 1 (December 7) Registration from 7.15am, Conference Sessions Start at 9.00am, Conference Sessions End at 6.15pm. Networking Drinks run 6.15pm-8.00pm.

Day 2 (December 8) Registration from 8.00am, Conference sessions Start at 9.15am, Conference Sessions End at 5.30pm

The exhibition is open to conference attendees, speakers and sponsors throughout the two days but is open to exhibition only tickets from 10.00 - 5.00pm on December 8 only.

Download Timed Agenda


Chairman’s opening

Gordon Bellamy, Visiting Professor, University of Southern California


The current VR market – and how to survive and thrive in the next 3 years

This session will highlight what is going to drive virtual, augmented and mixed reality from today's early stage market to a mass market by the end of the decade. You'll see industry and financial perspectives from Tim Merel and analyst perspectives from Stephanie Llamas. Their presentations and audience Q&A to follow will put you in a position to align your strategy with the most buoyant areas of the market and provide a path to success over the coming years.

Stephanie Llamas, Head of AR/VR Strategy, SuperData Research
Tim Merel, Managing Director, Digi-Capital


VR: Making it Real

Frank Soqui, General Manager of the Virtual Reality and Gaming Group, Intel


Realistic Human Interaction in VR

Despite rapid evolution VR is often criticized as an isolating experience. Hear how leading-edge advancements in digital humans, social interaction, user-created content, photorealistic graphics, and the blending of genres are breaking down barriers and enabling genuine human connection and interaction in VR and how this will translate to AR. Learn how these trends are contributing towards a new medium resembling the Metaverse from science fiction.

Tim Sweeney, CEO, Epic Games and Unreal Engine


Networking Break & Exhibition


Investment – where’s the real money going in VR, and why?

VR is undoubtedly one of today’s hot technology investment tickets. Huge investment has come from Silicon Valley industry juggernauts all the way to European and Asian early stage VCs. This panel will explore the what, why and when of investing in VR. Learn about the companies that VCs have already invested in and why – as well as what investors look for when choosing the best companies to place their bets on and how they see the market developing through 2017 and beyond.

Panelists include:

Tipatat Chennavasin, Co-founder & General Partner, The Venture Reality Fund
Joe Kraus, General Partner, GV (Google Ventures)
Michael Yang, Managing Director, Comcast Ventures
Sunny Dhillon, Partner, Signia Ventures

Panel chaired by: Amitt Mahajan, Founding Partner, Presence Capital


Fireside Chat: Looking to the Future of VR Through the Past

Jason Rubin, Head of Content, Oculus in conversation with Ted Price, CEO, Insomniac Games


Virtual Reality: Crossing the Chasm

Zvi Greenstein, General Manager, NVIDIA


Bigger than Earth: The opportunities and challenges in a future of virtual worlds

If all our internet connected devices were used to create a single virtual world today, it would already cover an area the size of earth with the detail of a high quality video game. As VR grows, it is possible that a large amount of human activity will move into Virtual Worlds, creating unforeseen changes similar to the rise of the internet. What could some of these changes be? What are the technical details behind this claim, and the timeline associated with it?

Philip Rosedale, CEO, High Fidelity (and Founder of Second Life)


Fireside Chat: Building the foundation of VR

John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity Technologies in conversation with Mike Capps, Games Industry Executive


Networking Lunch & Exhibition


Blending incredible tech and incredible storytelling for the ultimate VR experience

This session looks at the myriad of narrative possibilities in VR and how the new wave of HMDs, platforms and processors are responding to creative needs. Hear how technology can be both a help and a hindrance in storytelling for games and cinematic applications… and how creatives and technology providers are both adjusting to the new medium to develop the best possible VR experiences.

Panelists include:

Patrick O'Luanaigh, CEO, nDreams
Ikrima Elhassan, Co-founder, Kite & Lightning
Joel Breton, VP, VR Content, HTC Vive
Hiren Bhinde, Staff Product Manager, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Panel chaired by: Joshua Rubin, Creative Director, CINAPTIC


VR is meant to be mobile

Virtual reality will deliver a new platform for immersive experiences for end users who will be able to go anywhere and experience anything - all within the VR content they are experiencing. But being tethered to a PC or specific location while doing so isn’t ideal. The best VR experiences will be built on mobile technologies for a truly untethered experience. With mobile in our roots and innovation at our core, Qualcomm powers the most immersive, untethered mobile VR experiences via its Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Learn about new camera, audio, wireless and other technologies that will enable immersive VR devices and content for the masses for a truly mobile VR experience.

Tim Leland, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


Making VR Social – Problematic, Possible, Probable

Creating enjoyable and useful social experiences is arguably the holy grail for those looking to take VR mainstream and it certainly has the potential to become an inherently social medium. It's no secret that Facebook is banking on it becoming a major platform for social networking and multiple apps and games are already being developed to allow users to share locations, contact and experiences in VR.

This session brings together some of those leading the charge in making VR a social activity. Panelists will look at some of the technological hurdles and how they’re solving them as well as giving their views on what specific things they see users most enjoying sharing in virtual reality. What do they think are going to be the killer social apps for VR as the technology and content matures?

Panelists include:

Eric Romo, CEO, AltSpaceVR
Julian Price, CMO, vTime
David Votypka, Senior Creative Director, Ubisoft
David Baszucki, CEO, ROBLOX

Panel chaired by: Will Mason, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, UploadVR


Networking Break & Exhibition


Star Wars, VR & The Frontiers of Storytelling

Virtual reality has opened up exciting new avenues for storytellers to explore - from creative tools to audience experience to delivery channels. The elite creative and technical teams at ILMxLAB are collaborating to invent the future of immersive entertainment and change the film industry. Join us as they show what they have created and reveal unique lessons they’ve learned along the way.

John Gaeta, Executive Creative Director, ILMxLab and Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge, ILMxLAB in conversation with Tim Wagner, Open Innovation R&D Associate Principal, Accenture


The power of VR to create truly meaningful human experiences

Hilmar Petursson, CEO, CCP Games


Navigating the ethical and social impacts of VR

This closing session of the day will look at potential ethical and societal issues arising as VR takes hold. Focusing on both the positive and potentially negative outcomes for users, the panel will dive into what content providers and OEMs should be aware of to minimise risks and ensure rigorous standards.

Brett Leonard, Director, The Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity Entertainment
Daniel Rasmus, Chief Knowledge Officer, Virtual World Society
Andrew Goldstein, CEO, Otherworld Interactive
Barry Pousman, CEO, Variable Labs

Panel chaired by: Taylor Freeman, CEO & Chief Evangelist, UploadVR


Networking Drinks Reception – Beers and Sliders in the Expo, sponsored by

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Assessing market opportunities and risks as VR takes hold in games and entertainment

This series of short presentations and moderated audience Q&A will bring the current state of VR gaming and entertainment into sharp focus. With insight from leading analysts in the space, you’ll walk away with a clear picture of the key challenges and opportunities the market conditions point to and will be in a strong position to navigate a path to success.

The Impact of VR on Game Industry Economics
Mike Goodman, Director – Digital Media Strategies, Strategy Analytics

The Asia VR Games & Entertainment market
Lisa Hanson, Managing Partner and Founder, Niko Partners

The Mobile VR Entertainment market
Christine Arrington, Senior Analyst, Games, IHS Technology


Killer apps for VR beyond gaming & entertainment

Panelists include:

Martin Enthed, Development & Operations IT Manager, IKEA Communications AB
Matt Connors, CEO, Simplygon
Darin Bolthouse, Manager, Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory (CHIL), Lockheed Martin

Panel chaired by: Tyler Worden, Managing Partner, 4D Pipeline


The Time for VR Entertainment Is Now

As we’ve come to understand the importance of VR Entertainment content, the question now becomes how to monetize and place VRE in a category of its own. While the path to a billion-dollar VR industry is multi-faceted and complex, key partnerships are vital. Hear from AMD’s VR Production Director James Knight about the importance of aligning with the industry’s best innovators and creators.

James Knight, Virtual Production Director, AMD


Mid-air haptic feedback for VR & AR

In this session, Tom will tell you how Ultrahaptics can bring the sense of touch to our digital worlds, making the virtual more real. Ultrahaptics can project the sense of touch onto the user’s bare hands. No gloves. No controllers. Come along to find out how.

Tom Carter, CTO and Co-Founder, Ultrahaptics


Learnings in Social VR – Developing Werewolves Within & Star Trek: Bridge Crew

The VR team at Ubisoft’s Red Storm studio have been heavily focused on social presence in VR since 2014, and building social gameplay around this idea. Senior Creative Director, David Votypka will share key learnings in this space as his teams’ VR games Werewolves Within and Star Trek: Bridge Crew prepare to launch this fall. Topics to be discussed will range from approaches to social gameplay design, to how avatars are represented for maximizing social effect, and comparing and contrasting design considerations between the two games.

David Votypka, Senior Creative Director, Ubisoft




Set Graphics to Stun: Enhancing VR Immersion with the CPU in Star Trek: Bridge Crew™

To get the most immersive experience in VR, it’s crucial to take full advantage of all available resources. Many games and experiences these days put a huge emphasis on GPU work and let the many cores built-in to modern mainstream CPUs sit idle on the sideline. Luckily for us, Unity has plenty of powerful features on hand that take advantage of these available resources, providing stunning visuals with minimal performance impact on the GPU. In this talk, we’ll explore how Ubisoft’s Red Storm studio and Intel partnered to push immersion as far as possible in Star Trek: Bridge Crew™ and show you how to do the same in your game!

Cristiano Ferreira, Game Technology Developer, Intel


How VR is changing sales and marketing at Audi

This session will deep-dive into the “Audi VR experience” and bring in learnings from it to date. Marcus will outline how he sees virtual reality content developing for the company in terms of digital marketing, retail and brand development going forward. And they’ll touch on why they think VR and other immersive technologies will become a game changer for the broader digital retail sector.

Marcus Kühne, Strategy Lead, Immersive Technologies, Audi


Networking Break & Exhibition


Fireside chat: VR use cases in Healthcare and Medicine

Primed by more than 30 years of study and clinical validation in university research labs, VR and AR technology is poised to have a profound impact on clinical care and wellness. VR technology can be used to dramatically improve medical assessments and clinical care, to improve preventive health and wellness, and to facilitate the shift of the locus of medical care from the clinic to the home.

This fireside chat will review the ways that VR technology is currently being used to treat clinical problems, and will also address what is under development for the next-generation of medical care.

Walter Greenleaf, Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Stanford University in conversation with Chris Furmanski, Director of Innovation, Stanford Health Care


Fireside chat: Is out of home the natural first step to experiencing great virtual reality?

Most VR leaders agree that one of the major challenges for the industry is getting products and experiences in the hands of consumers. Getting people to experience great VR without having to purchase an expensive headset is crucial to raising awareness. Experiential arcades, bars, pop-ups and theme parks all provide an opportunity for this and in this session, Brent and Dean will give their views on what’s working now, and where the future of out-of-home VR is likely heading.

Brent Bushnell, CEO, Two Bit Circus in conversation with Dean Orion, Executive Creative Director, SPACES


Unlocking the potential of VR/AR to transform how people work

Our clients are excited by the potential for visualization and analysis of complex data sets, as well as collaborating remotely with other users to view and manipulate the same objects. However, accomplishing something that is both beautiful and productive requires a deep understanding of users’ instincts and of the capabilities of the technology available today. This presentation will share some best practices and showcase some of our recent work in designing user experience in VR.

Risto Lähdesmäki, CEO, Idean


Building a Global VR Network – Live Streaming and Media Delivery

Virtual Reality is a new way of enjoying content, a new user experience. Does it deserve a new method of delivery? Are traditional media delivery methods ready for VR?

OTT media and TV have shown us that live events, particularly sports have played a crucial role in drawing viewers in. This could be the same of VR, but are current networks capable of delivering Live VR? Considering the large bandwidth requirements and the need for dynamic, responsive delivery systems, this may not be the case. This presentation will look at current delivery methods and some pieces of the puzzle towards a Global VR Network where anyone, anywhere in the world can watch live VR events from the comfort of their home.

Alex Berriman, Product Specialist, PCCW Global


VR and the evolution of car design at BMW

In this session Patrick will talk about how BMW has introduced a custom made mixed reality system into vehicle development that has been devised entirely using components from the computer games industry. Drawing on his experience in leading the development of the company’s mixed reality lab Patrick will focus on how their new systems uses various VR and MR tools and technologies in the design process to give greater flexibility, faster results and lower costs.

Patrick Dahms, Advanced Technical Artist (VR), BMW of North America, LLC


What really makes a great VR game?

Creating a truly immersive and engaging gaming environment where users can lose sense of reality is what VR is all about. This session will give you key insight from some of the industry’s leading studios and platforms into what makes a VR gaming experience work. Get practical takeaways about how to master user interfaces in VR, how to balance speed, accuracy and interactivity in gameplay and the different approaches to developing for mobile VR versus tethered and room-scale.

Robert Nashak, COO, Survios
Denny Unger, CEO, Cloudhead Games
Jamil Moledina, Games Strategic Lead, Google Play & VR, Google
Zvi Greenstein, General Manager, NVIDIA

Panel chaired by: Gordon Bellamy, Visiting Professor, University of Southern California


Patents: Why they matter so much as VR takes hold

Every business enterprise develops and applies a sophisticated toolkit necessary to achieve a diverse array of important objectives. And while this is true for all enterprises, there are many businesses that have a toolkit deficient in one critical respect. Learn how patents and patent applications are adaptable tools, how to turbocharge your toolkit with them and what they can accomplish for your business, whether startup or industry juggernaut. With the race to develop amazing VR hardware, platforms and content going at an incredible pace, properly protecting your ideas and technologies becomes even more important in order to meet your business objectives.

Amir Penn, EE/JD, Brinks Gilson Lione
John Nethery, JD, Brinks Gilson Lione


Welcome to the Golden Age of VR Content

There has never been a better time to be a content creator! Virtual reality developers are pioneering this exciting new computing platform to create awe-inspiring worlds, games, and experiences. Developers are leveraging powerful game engines, frameworks, toolkits, multiplayer platforms, SDKs, & readily available assets, to create amazing VR content. The power to create VR content is currently in the hands of enthusiastic teams who are pioneering what it means to tell stories in VR, to visit faraway temples and planets from your living room, and to play games anywhere in the universe. HTC is actively partnering with content creators to create compelling content across ten leading VR categories, including healthcare, education, video games, social spaces, experiences, video entertainment, engineering, real-estate, retail, & live events. The playground for premium VR content creators is the known universe throughout all of time. Where do you want to go next?

Joel Breton, VP Global VR Content, HTC Vive


Addressing the technical hurdles to bring mass enterprise adoption of VR

Large-scale manufacturing and construction industries have been using virtual reality and 3D visualization technologies for decades. But with the new wave of VR, enterprise across the board is seeing huge scope for applications to drive efficiencies and increase productivity. But certain technological hurdles still remain and educating business leaders on how to incorporate VR into their workflow is still a challenge. This panel will look at how areas such as mobilization, platform sharing, hardware requirements and VR vs AR are being addressed by different industries as VR takes hold.

Panelists include:

Mark Roberts, Design Operations Manager, McLaren Automotive
Matthew Brooks, Senior R&D Engineer, BBC
Kumar Chinnaswamy, GM, Commercial VR Solutions, Intel Experiences Group

Panel chaired by: Amy Peck, VR/AR Consultant, EndeavorVR


Networking Lunch & Exhibition


Networking Lunch & Exhibition


The power and challenge of truly interactive storytelling

In this session, Brett and Mary will explore the subject of interactive storytelling in VR. They’ll focus on how it’s blurring the lines between games and movies and has to be treated as a completely new medium for storytelling.

Brett Leonard, Director, The Lawnmower Man and Virtuosity Entertainment in conversation with Mary Jesse, Chief Strategy Officer, VRstudios / VRcade


WebVR and the mass creation and distribution of virtual reality experiences

If VR is going to scale at the rate we all hope, we need to avoid it being perceived as a closed platform built for – and by – a relatively small community of techies. VR experiences need to be shareable, searchable, discoverable and give users freedom of choice in an open format. Enter WebVR. This panel of renowned experts in both the backend and frontend of virtual reality systems will discuss the current state of play for WebVR, the challenges and opportunities it promises… and how they see it developing over the next couple of years.

Josh Carpenter, UX Designer for Immersive Computing, Google
Michael Antonov, Chief Software Architect, Oculus
Andrew Buck, Senior Software Engineer, Immersv
Alban Denoyel, Co-founder & CEO, Sketchfab
Dekker Dreyer, Chief Creative Officer, Clever Fox Media

Panel chaired by: Tony Parisi, Head of VR/AR, Unity Technologies


How VR will change the face of film and broadcast media over the next decade

As VR takes hold across the whole entertainment spectrum studios are having to adopt new ways of storytelling to make truly immersive virtual reality cinematic content. Experimentation is rife and some amazing content is already being produced, but challenges still abound and frankly everyone’s trying to work out what's next.

This panel will hear from some of those leading the charge in bringing VR film, animation and 360 video to the fore and will look at how the medium is going to hugely disrupt movie making - and watching - over the next decade.

Eric Darnell, Chief Creative Officer, Baobab Studios
Dr. Changyin Zhou, Co-Founder & CEO, Visbit Inc.
David Campbell, SVP, Corporate and JV Development, IMAX Corporation
Luis Blackaller, Creative Director, Wevr

Panel chaired by: David Price, Vice President, Strategic Business Development, TV&Media, Ericsson


Virtual Reality Advertising, What's Real, What's Scaleable, and What's Working?

Seth Socolow, SVP Strategic Partnerships, VirtualSKY


What can VR games learn from the rise of mobile gaming?

There’s no question that VR is here and accessible to the mainstream. However, when it comes to games the vast majority of content is being created for the hardcore audience, which is ultimately a small percentage of VR’s potential. This session will explore what takeaways and best practices from mobile gaming can be applied to VR and which absolutely cannot, while taking a case study approach to exploring initial insights of current VR titles from VR games studio Resolution Games. The speaker will dive into VR’s mass market potential and how developers can help the hardware market get there faster.

Tommy Palm, CEO, Resolution Games


Balancing creative delivery and value when using VR for brand engagement

The current rise of VR/AR/MR gives creatives an opportunity to inspire and captivate audiences in ways never seen before. New media platforms are allowing agencies and studios to create ever more engaging and immersive experiences. But can these experiences really bring value and ROI to brands? How can we strike a balance between inspiring creatives to exercise what they do best while still selling product? In this session, Resh Sidhu will outline the lessons Framestore have learnt in how to anticipate problems, persuade clients to adopt (or not adopt) frighteningly new tech and push the boundaries of what's possible.

Resh Sidhu, Creative Director, Framestore VR


The building blocks for compelling VR experiences

This session looks at which technical and experiential components are most important to consider when creating great VR experiences. Building games and content for VR brings challenges most developers have never considered. It really is a new medium that demands completely new ways of looking at design to ensure users get the best experience possible.

So what can be taken from existing game design approaches, and what needs to change? How are components such as audio, lighting, graphics, assets and movement affected when we move to immersive 3D and how does this impact the overall approach to creating games that work in VR?

Guy Bendov, CEO, SidekickVR
Mary Jesse, Chief Strategy Officer, VRstudios / VRcade
Toby Grimshaw, Director, Business Development, Enlighten BU, ARM
Hiren Bhinde, Staff Product Manager, Qualcomm Technologies Inc

Panel chaired by: Wanda Meloni, CEO/ Executive Director, M2 Advisory Group / Open Gaming Alliance


Creating virtual reality experiences for branding and marketing

Brand perception, prestige and awareness are critical to success. The immersive nature of VR allows you to create worlds and experiences for your customers that will allow you to develop relationships that build on emotion, excitement and awe.

Today’s marketers must create experiences that cut through the noise of the media landscape and deliver brand impressions that are impossible to ignore. VR is doing just this and this panel of experts from brands and agencies blazing the trail will uncover the key things consumer facing brands need to be thinking about to create the best VR experiences.

Carlos Saavedra, Senior Director, Creator – Culture Strategy & Innovation, PepsiCo
Dominic Späth, CEO, Lebeman
Craig Dalton, CEO, DODOCase
Resh Sidhu, Creative Director, Framestore VR

Panel chaired by: Rori Duboff, VR Strategy Consultant


The Rise of User Generated VR/360 Content

The rollout of 360 and VR technologies is accelerating and quickly becoming an industry-changing phenomenon. With multiple brands introducing affordable 360-degree cameras and accessories, as well as the strong push of platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Google, VR video will soon surpass gaming. The capture and creation of compelling VR content is now accessible to everyone. User generated content will be a strong driver to massive growth in VR video. In the session, CyberLink will share insights about this disruptive opportunity. It will describe how software tools, like award-winning PowerDirector, are enabling 360 video editing. It will explain how the right tools can help users easily create amazing VR content and tell their stories in a completely new immersive way.

Richard Carriere, SVP Global Marketing and US General Manager, CyberLink


VR and Architecture: Revolutionizing Design, Development and Sales

In this session Matthew Vitti, one of very few specialised VR Architects in the US, will talk about how he and his firm use VR technology both to improve productivity and win business. Looking at how VR can be applied right across architecture from improving design workflow, through virtual walk-throughs for clients and onto customer sales and marketing, Matthew will provide a whole of host of examples that are applicable to the wider AEC community as a whole.

Matthew Vitti, VR Architect, TCA Architects


The potential of VR to reshape the music industry & live events

Just like gaming and movies, music is an obvious entertainment stream ready to be revolutionized by the rise of virtual reality. From VR’s impact on music videos to its ability to bring live concert experiences to mass audiences to its place in distributing more personal and immersive experiences, VR has the potential to completely change the way consumers interact with music. This panel will look at the current landscape and future possibilities in this rapidly emerging field.

Chris Horton, VP, Advanced Technology, Universal Music Group
Helen Situ, Virtual Reality Evangelist, NextVR
Facundo Diaz, CEO, VRTIFY
Adam Arrigo, CEO and Co-Founder, TheWaveVR

Panel chaired by: Gordon Bellamy, Visiting Professor, University of Southern California


Using VR for Immersive Training & Experiential Education

We’ve been using crude VR simulators for decades to train soldiers, police and pilots. Today’s revolution in VR’s image quality, motion, UX and cost are opening up new industries to more visual ways to train and educate. Hear how VR pioneers across diverse industries are building and using immersive learning environments today.

Panelists include:

Dave Chavez, CTO, zSpace
Derek Belch, Founder & CEO, STRIVR Labs
Ben Schrom, Product Manager, Google Expeditions

Moderator: Tim Wagner, Open Innovation R&D Associate Principal, Accenture


End of conference


Who you'll see there - Program Summary for all tracks - Audience breakdown - Exclusive discount code