All posts by Stephanie Greenall

VRTO 2018 – Canada’s VR and AR Conference Year 3 – Report

Reflections, notes, stats and wrap up on the VRTO 2018 Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo.

Facts:
95 Speakers from the following countries:
Canada, United States, Japan, Spain, Mexico, India, China.

Topics included:
The philosophical origins of experiential design, psychedelics, esoterica, blockchain, cryto assets, visual effects, augmented reality, gestural libraries, artificial intelligence, computer vision, machine learning, robotics, projection mapping, haptics, somatosensory interfaces, location based entertainment (LBE), game design, mental health and VR/AR, volumetric and lightfield capture, ambisonic and spatialized audio, avatars and chatbots, Touch Designer, DepthKit, Unity, Unreal and much more.

Coverage from:

Attendees: 600

Part 1. 
VRTO was designed to assert that art is important. Culture is important. Experimentation is important. Subversion and skepticism are important. Philosophy and creativity, collaboration and open minds and hearts can create enormous fonts of positive energy.

  • In year one we focused on defining a code of ethics for humanistic augmentation and the concern with how they are understood, adopted and exacted

[L to R] Ana Serrano (Canadian Film Centre), Danielle Perszyk (Oscillations), Glenn Cantave (Movers & Shakers), Maryam Sabour, Nyla Innuksuk on a panel “Are VR/AR ready for CHANGE?” photo by Christian Bobak

  • In year two we acknowledged and listened to our progenitors, the pioneers, our elders, attempting to extrapolate decades of existing research and experience upon which foundation we might continue to build.
  • In year three we looked towards possible futures, distant horizons, terra incognita, mysticism and esoterica, new paradigms, and the exhuming of ancient practices that may find new expressions.

VRTO is only successful if it proves to be salt-peter, Occam’s razor, and a portal. If it becomes de rigeur, it is will cede. We will burn it to the ground to enrich the soil that remains.

 

Steve "Spaz" Williams and Dave Cardwell with Keram Malicki-Sanchez at VRTO
VFX Heaven: Dave Cardwell of SPINVFX (King Kong, Lord of the Rings, The Expanse) and Steve “Spaz” Williams (Jurassic Park, The Abyss, Terminator 2, The Mask, Spawn) meet for the first time at VRTO 2018 to talk about the future of  CG and immersive tech.

Part 2. 
We start from where we are. What we are given. But that is not the end, only the beginning. The rest is up to us to create.

On the one hand, we can assure ourselves that the present is unceasingly mutable, and on the other that this unrelenting ocean of tides – ebb and flow – can provide the solace and comfort of familiarity, once we can accept it, and surrender the illusion of permanence or dominion over anything.

“Only that which can change can continue.” 
― James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

Part 3.
The show is not the product. It is the catalyst. It takes minimum 365 days + years to build a VRTO schedule. It is a cauldron. The real product emerges in the days, weeks, months and years that follow. No attendance numbers or exhibitor count or media circulation will paint an honest picture in contrast to those effects.

“Gardeners slaughter no animals. They kill nothing. Fruits, seeds, vegetables, nuts, grains, grasses, roots, flowers, herbs, berries-all are collected when they have ripened, and when their collection is in the interest of the garden’s heightened and continued vitality. Harvesting respects a source, leaves it unexploited, suffers it to be as it is.” 
― James P. Carse, Finite and Infinite Games: A Vision of Life as Play and Possibility

VRTO Speakers group shot
[​L to R]: Rodrigo Contreras (Trade & Investment Commissioner, Mexico), Irena Cronin (Transformation Group), Ryan Andal (Secret Location), John Bolton (Globacore), Councillor Michael Thompson, Stefan Grambart, Charlie Fink, Stepen Shew (Battleverse), Joanna Popper (HP), Tom Emrich (SuperVentures), me!, Nathan Weir (FORREC), Helen Papagiannis, Sergio Ramirez and Joss Monzon (Virtualware and NMerso), Andrew MacDonald (CreamVR) – photo by Christian Bobak

Here are some treasures, coming out of the event:

FREE RICH MEDIA FOR YOU!

Podcast Episodes From VRTO2018 by Kent Bye – Voices of VR

Official Session Videos from VRTO2018

 

Photos by Christian Bobak