Category Archives: Events

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

VRTO at DGP Labs at U of T

November 14th, 2017 Meetup – SideFX, Samsung VR and JanusVR’s Vesta

100 VRTO members and some curious University of Toronto students assembled for VRTO’s latest meetup at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology in downtown Toronto. Keram opened the evening and gave out a special $150 discount code for the HumanEyes Vuze camera and announced that submissions to FIVARS 2018 were now open.

He then welcomed to the podium Adam Lipper – head of Music and VR for Samsung Canada who described where Samsung VR has been and where it is going. One of the distinctions is that Samsung VR is no longer exclusively tied to Gear VR but is also a website, like YouTube, in its own right that can be accessed from any device. He also hinted that the platform will soon be offering heatmaps for better understanding of useage of content, among other significant updates.

He then unveiled a new partnership between FIVARS and Samsung VR that will showcase past selectees from the festival and offer another way for audiences to discover content that may otherwise be lost in the clamor for attention.

After a brief recess, VRTO invited to the stage Dr.s Karan Singh and James McCrae, co-founders of JanusVR and its free and hosted offshoot Vesta. An hour long workshop demonstrating the various ways to create, modify and write content for the immersive web platform followed.

Then SideFX rep Robert Magee took the floor to demonstrate how the powerful Houdini engine can be used to procedurally generate objects, environments, characters and effects for Virtual Reality applications, ensuring integrity, consistency and enormous flexibility. This was capped by sharing the free trial option or the annual Indie license for only $199 along with many resources for learning how to use this powerful node based architecture with APIs to hook into your favorite IDE or workflow.

The proceedings were followed with a social at a nearby pub where many fascinating conversations continued the night. Thanks to all who were able to attend or spread the word.

VRTO 2017 – Report, Images, Metrics and Videos

“The next insanely great thing may not come out of Stanford, it may come out of Toronto.”
~ Forbes

“Unlike Any Conference You’ve Ever Attended”
~ VRScout

VRTO 2017 was listed as Canada’s largest Virtual & Augmented Reality conference and expo by CP24, CityTV, 1010 Newstalk, Sirius XM.

Wow what a year it was! VRTO – administered by Constant Change Media Group and Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Jessy Blaze, Chrissy Aitchison and additional support from Candace Steinberg, Josh Miles Joudrie and Michael Duhacek partnered with the incredible crew at Ryerson University’s FCAD at Rogers Communications Centre (thank you Marie Crosta, Prachi Khandekar and Shawn Haswell) to pull together a virtually impractical and experimental conference. By all measures it seemed to work. Such approaches would not be possible without the good faith and support of community sponsors who included:

  • Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) at Ryerson University
  • Canadian Film Center/OMERS Ventures
  • Wemersive
  • Homido
  • Subpac
  • Igloo
  • AMD
  • Vuze
  • TADS Inc.
  • Mocha
  • MetaVRse
  • Pufferfish
  • Torus Media Labs/Canvas 360 Pro
  • Pandor Productions
  • Somato Cherry
  • Captive Camera
  • Sennheiser
  • Redlab
  • Freeman
  • Primacy / GivLuv
  • Promena
  • AWE Company / GeoGram
  • Mobile Capital Network
  • Combo Bravo
  • Malicki Sanchez Law
  • Made Good

and of course our many media and community partners. Thank you to the incredible speakers, panelist and presenters for your ideas, time and efforts. Thank you to our family who helped out in every respect. Thank you to the selfless and generous volunteers! Thanks to our publicity team at ClutchPR. Sincerely – thank you! Your support cannot be undervalued and is essential to these approaches!

By the numbers:

  • Total Speakers 100
  • Total Exhibitors 65
  • Total Attendees 800
  • 34+ Articles in Mainstream Media
  • 157M Online readership
  • 1.91M Est. Coverage Views
  • 2.44M Est. Coverage (Broadcast)
  • 4.27M (Web & Broadcast)

Featured coverage from Forbes, UploadVR, VRScout, CP24, CityTV, Newstalk 1010, SiriusXM, BetaKit, VRFocus, Dorkshelf, Hindustan Times (1) (2), MobileSyrup (1) (2) (3), IT Business, The Digital Circuit, Trendy Techie, Brockstar Gaming, Category 5

Now please enjoy a catalog of images from the event that ideally helps to sample the spectrum of minds and identities that contribute to an experience such as this.
Images (credit: Jaime Espinoza, Captive Camera):

VRTO 2017 Photo Gallery

Video:

 

 

Please watch talks, coverage and miscellaneous video from the VRTO 2017 conference at VRTO’s Official YouTube Channel. Sincerely, thank you for watching!

*this article is a work in progress and will continue to be updated with links, reports and media assets. Please bookmark it and share.