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VRTO 2017 Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality World Conference and Expo, Toronto, Canada

A Deep Dive into VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo 2017

VRTO, Toronto’s premier Virtual Reality Meetup group and conference surrounding “Experiential” or “Immersive” media – that is to say – the rising tide of interactive, neuro-scientifically motivated technologies that create spatially driven and/or aware activities, will present the sequel to its critically-acclaimed, deep dive symposium in Toronto, Canada at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communications and Design headquarters – the Rogers Communication Centre June 25th-26th, (special VIP and Media preview day, and Film & TV Workshop June 24th).

The 2017 theme is ‘Giants,’ inspired by Sir Isaac Newton’s phrase “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

“The theme,” VRTO founder and executive director Keram Malicki-Sanchez explains, “Comes from the notion that we have decades of research and insight to unpack at such a critical, liminal moment for the culture and society, we would be remiss to not include those who have come before us in the conversation, so we can build from more than 30 years of experiments, experience, wisdom and knowledge.”

Malicki-Sanchez, who has enlisted experts in various fields of research and development to join him in building focused pavilions at this year’s unique event (including a multi-modal pavilion, one dedicated to AR art and seminars, and another exclusively to WebVR), has curated a lineup of speakers, educators, panelists and moderators that represents the real history of development in the “experiential” media arts, including David A. Smith, Graham Thomas Smith, Moses Znaimer, Vincent John Vincent, Ian Kelso, Peggy Wu, Rafael Brown, Charles Fink, Bill Perry,  David Plant,  Dr. Maria Karam, Dr. Karan Singh among many others.

Additionally, experts and change agents from across the spectrum will be presenting in various formats on subjects that include:

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality, UI, UX
  • Spatialized Audio
  • Education, Training and Simulation
  • Haptics and Multi-Sensory Technology
  • Robotics and Telepresence
  • Advanced imaging techniques including 3D scanning – photogrammetry, Depthkit, volumetric capture, spherical video production and techniques
  • Game engine architecture and design for VR and AR
  • the intersection of Arts, Sciences and Culture with experiential technologies
  • Marketing and brand integration strategies and opportunities, market adoption
  • Location-based entertainment and activation
  • Interactive storytelling
  • Real estate and Architecture
  • Data visualization and fintech
  • Health-tech and mental health sciences

and so much more….

Two Intensive Training Days (ITR1) will offer attendees powerful and uncompromising hands-on lectures and presentations concerning advanced concepts in authoring experiential media projects. Day One – June 25th – will focus on advanced imaging techniques with sessions by Shachar Weis (Packet39), Elli Raynai (CineHackers), Morgan Young and Craig Alguire (Quantum Capture), Mike Sevigny (Torus Media Labs/Canvas 360 Pro), Ross Shain (Mocha VR – Imagineer Systems) and others and look at photogrammetry, volumetric capture, 3D scanning, digitizing humans, VFX for Spherical video and more. Day Two – June 26th – will focus on building interactive experiences in game engines and IDEs with Weis, Bernie Roehle (Virtual Escapes), Rafael Brown (Digital Myths) and other highly experienced game developers.

For those who don’t want to be within 50 years of computer code – VRTO will also feature an exclusive Film & TV Industry Onboarding Workshop (FTVW) that will train participants through the many stages of production and post-production for spherical aka 360-degree video.

In the Presentation rooms (CR2 and AR1), researchers and presenters from Google, Microsoft, Open Text Corporation and many other leading companies from around the world will share advice, experience, insights and post-mortems on their work and projects.

The FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories) returns with a special exhibit featuring its most popular pieces since 2015 and few new premieres in advance of its September run, and the show will also feature a VR Arcade featuring world-class VR game developers and Augmented Reality Art gallery and sessions track (AR1).

VRTO strives to motivate experimentation, discovery, relationship-building and research-sharing, distribution and monetization strategies, ethics, standards and best practices, and innovation in every sense of the word. With curiosity as its fuel and actionable data as its aim, this one-of-a-kind, international symposium will support attendees in springing forward with fresh ideas and insights, and powerfully charged new conversations and relationships to make the most of this awe-inspiring and unpredictable paradigm shift.

Do not get left behind.

Get your tickets now.

*** This article is a living document and subject to frequent updates. It exists as a guide only. Please refer to the official site for schedule times, policies and documentation. ***

VRTO Meetup - Toronto Dec 2016 photo by Jessy Blaze

VRTO December Toronto VR Meetup Recap

The VRTO team presented one final Meetup for 2016 on December 21st in Toronto at Spadina and Queen, in the heart of the city. Fifty-five attendees slogged through the thick snow to arrive at MSMU’s cozy brick house, lined with Christmas lights and featuring a pool table and two HTC Vive setups.

VRTO Meetup December 2016
Olga Nabatova shares her TiltBrushing knowledge with the attendees

Artist Olga Nabatova, started off the night’s presentations with a review of some of her VR based paintings in Google’s Tilt Brush, as commissioned by Google, the Ontario Science Centre and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Attendees were invited up to the stage to enter into her works of living art and contribute something themselves.

VR Producer Elli Raynai was next and did a fascinating drilldown on his productions from the past two years that include “I Am You,” “The Key,” and his latest – “Circuit Rider.” While Raynai used photogrammetry and Unity for autobiographical piece The Key, he has moved to Unreal Engine 4 and a team of 8 to create his post-modern narrative/game hybrid Circuit Rider.

The night was capped off by VRTO Director Keram Malicki-Sanchez who did a fast-paced rundown of some of the virtual reality industry’s biggest news, changes and projections. You can access his slides below.

VRTO is so grateful to all of you for making this such a vibrant and relevant community. We are always fascinated by your stories and projects and forever invite you to be an active part of this network. Thank you to everyone who made our conferences and festivals possible in 2016 and here is to a new year!

Please enjoy Olga’s tribute to 2017 – Year of the Fire Rooster:

Special thanks to the Wednesday team:
Jessy Blaze
Adriel Malicki-Sanchez
Chrissy Aitchison
Joshua Joudrie
Marika Woyzbun