“The next insanely great thing may not come out of Stanford, it may come out of Toronto.”
“Unlike Any Conference You’ve Ever Attended”
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
Torus Media Labs/Canvas 360 Pro
Primacy / GivLuv
AWE Company / GeoGram
Mobile Capital Network
Malicki Sanchez Law
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!
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):
The largest virtual reality conference and expo on the North American eastern seaboard took place at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs) June 25th through 27th, 2016.
Produced by VRTO (Virtual Reality, Toronto) – one of the diverse city’s largest Virtual Reality Meetup groups, the inaugural show consisted of hacker workshops, intensive training and exhibitors from the across the spectrum of the immersive technologies industry. A milestone meeting of CEOs, PhD professors, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, and technologists joined more than 800 attendees from around the world to learn about the creative production, business and societal implications of this rapidly growing industry, of which VR is a part.
Among the most impactful activities launched at the VRTO Virtual and Augmented Reality World Conference and Expo, was the drafting and ratification of the Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation. Led by award-winning scientist, academic, artist and father of “wearable technology”, Steve Mann, authors of the Code of Ethics of Human Augmentation also included Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author David Brin (“The Postman”,) KOBO co-founder Ken Nickerson, founder of CG Blockchain Mir Adnan Ali, Graeme Moffat – founder of Muse, Hollywood filmmaker Brett Leonard (“Lawnmower Man”), VRTO Executive Director Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Canadian Film Centre (CFC) Chief Digital Officer Ana Serrano, CEO of Venn.Agency Samantha Mathews, programmer Zack Harris, CEO of Ingle Insurance Robin Ingle, Ryan Janzen (ieee) and others.
“As technology moves from theory and prototyping into the marketplace, we encourage and support the development of a living document to safeguard against possible future abuses and the recommendation of accountability and safety standards for this incredibly powerful and transformative media,” VRTO Executive Director Keram Malicki-Sanchez said. “The Toronto Code – the colloquial title for the Code of Ethics in Human Augmentation – is the cumulative result of 42 years of work by Professor Mann, and those with whom he has prepared the discussion to this point.”
Mann – a professor at the University of Toronto who also founded the Wearable Technology Lab at MIT – followed his opening keynote, panel discussion, and town hall during VRTO, commenting: “We have spent years developing the Code of Ethics on Human Augmentation to craft its three fundamental principles:
i.) the right to know when and how you are being monitored in the real and virtual world;
ii.) the right to monitor the systems or people monitoring you and use that information in crafting your own digital identity;
iii.) the user should be able to understand the world they are in immediately – feedback delayed is feedback denied
The conference also featured a pavilion previewing the 2016 FIVARS VR stories festival selections including several world premieres, over 60 speakers and panelists, many from the bustling California VR scene, and a special panel comprising luminaries from the hot Montreal VR scene.
The next phase is aggregating signatures of support from the public, standards committees and policy makers so that this inescapable new wave of technology can be extrapolated from a position of conscientiousness, accountability and responsibility!
Canadian Film Centre, Cream 360, Dashwood Cinema Solutions, Deep Inc/Liquid, Cinema, Eye-Live, Game Pill, Globacore, HTML Fusion, Metavrse, Mettle, Nirvaniq Labs, Realtra VR, VR Co-op, Vrvana Inc., Minority Media, Foundry
FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories)
Debuted 15 films including various World Premieres and Canadian Premieres
Minority Media, Game Pill, Alientrap, Globacore, Red Meat Games, FIVARS, IRIS VR, Quantum Capture – award winning game developers participated in a panel on game design hosted by IndieGameReviewer.com and also taught courses in intensive training and presentation rooms
About the VRTO Virtual and Augmented Reality World Conference and Expo Founded in 2015, VRTO (Virtual Reality Toronto) is an organization whose mission is to explore, develop and promote the intersection of arts, culture, society, research and science through immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and wearable technology. Founders of VRTO host the widely known FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories), an annual festival designed to push the boundaries and definitions of interactive and immersive media. Though VRTO successfully ran VAR in 2015, Ontario’s largest VR technologies showcase, FIVARS and several sold out events, 2016 is the inaugural year for the VRTO World Conference & Expo.
Special thanks to the VRTO Team and Volunteers! VRTO/FIVARS Alpha Team Members: Meg White, Adam Fimio, Sarah Bradley, Rory Wicks, Michael Duhacek Volunteers: Elizabeth Blazejewski, Bridget Carter, Alex Bulbeck, Toya Sanchez Jankowksi, Fenny Sanchez Kani, Elvira Sanchez de Malicki, Mietek Stitsky, Marek Malicki, Kyle Blaze, Mark Taylor, Barbra Trott, Ryan Dickey, Chyanne, Kalyna, Gary Calzada
Videographers and photogs: RJ Muloney, Jaime Espinoza, Ian Sun, Nai Sun, Hal Swann
Khayyam Wakil, Media & Technology Innovator, Live Planet
Thomas Wallner, CEO and Founder, DEEP Inc/Liquid Cinema
J Lee Williams, Preside, Occupied VR
Russell Wu, Creative Director, Dirtywork VR
Morgan Young, President, Quantum Capture
Michael Zaidan, Co-Founder and SVP Creative Affairs, Minority Media
Full List of Keynotes, Panels, Presentations & Intensive Training Sessions at VRTO Virtual & Augmented Reality Conference & Expo 2016
Steve Mann – Proposing A Code of Ethics on Virtuality, Robotics, and Human Augmentation
Brett Leonard – The Mythic Story of VR: Transformation or Control?
Philip Lelyveld – Hollywood’s Journey into VR
Ana Serrano – Altogether Now: Designing VR with the past, present and future in mind
Ethics on Virtuality, Robotics, and Human Augmentation
How To Choose and Create Great 360 Stories
“Take My Point of View” – Creative vs Autonomous Control of Viewer’s Attention
Super Session: OK, So We Can Shoot in 360. Can We Start Making it Interesting Now?
Distribution and DRM For Immersive Content
The 2016 FIVARS Festival Selections
Finding Success in VR Game Development
Mixed & Augmented Reality – The Holographic Future
The Amazing Montreal VR Scene
Producing Immersive Video in Canada – Where’s the Money?
UX in VR: The Who What Where When and Why
How VR Will Democratize Experiential Learning
Exploring Mixed Reality: Merging Real & Virtual worlds with Hololens
Social VR and Virtual Theater: Expression and Interaction Within Virtual Worlds
Financing Options in Canada for VR/AR
Extending Your Runway Before Takeoff: Intelligent Financial Planning For Your Startup
The Power of Cinematic VR
“The Beautifully Specific Mind” – Bringing Back the Frame in Cinematic VR
The Toronto TimeWarp – Transforming Locations using AR Time Travel
15 Minutes To Fame – An Approach to An All In One 360 Solution
Crossing the Valley: Exploring the Future of Digital Humans
Room Scale VR: Going off leash
The VR Headache – Best Practices for Creating Comfortable Stereoscopic VR
Create, Connect, Elevate – How VR is Going to Disrupt Every Business
Building the Next Web for the Coming Age of Mixed Reality
Intensive Training Sessions:
360 Video is Not An Easter Egg Hunt – Let’s Get Started
The Upward Spiral of Virtual Reality: The Impact of VR on Consciousness & Society
Johnny 6 – Production for 360 Immersive Video Projects From An Unorthodox POV
360VR Video Post-Production Tips & Tricks
Professional Video Stitching Techniques
Q&A With 360 Video Veterans
Planning, Communicating and Testing the User Experience
Creating Games for Gear VR – An Overview from Concept to Storefront
I Can See Holograms: How to Work with the Microsoft Hololens
Kit Bashing: Building Cohesive Worlds Out of Pillaged Assets
Dreaming of Superman – Game Design Language & Philosophy in VR
Room Scale VR: Latency’s a Bitch
Physics in Room Scale VR: Creating Modbox for the HTC Vive
Demystifying the Photogrammetry Pipeline for Real-time 3D
Training: Pitching Interactive Animated Stories
Report created by Keram Malicki-Sanchez. Special thanks to Matthew Celestial, Chrissy Aitchison, Candace Steinberg, Steve Mann, Joseph Ellsworth, Ana Serrano and Jessy Blaze for contributing and their invaluable input to this report
VRTO – one of Toronto, Canada’s largest virtual reality meetup groups, presented the January 14th 2016 supermeet featuring various presentations and panelists from the top VR companies in the city. It was a sold out event with over 120 attendees, and 15 volunteers!
The first of these presentations looked at the theme of Natural Virtual Reality Interfaces: Keeping a strong immersion & sense of presence. Dale Rosen presented his 3DUI – Three-Dimensional User Interfaces. The project consisted of a set of three 3D widgets – switch, lever and potentiometer that can be manipulated by natural hand motions using a Leap Motion mounted on the front of an Oculus DK2.
These simple 3-dimensional user interfaces can easily be embedded in any virtual environment. There was also a demo of how the virtual interface can be tied to the physical world, switching on an off an LED on an Arduino using the Leap Motion, Unity and Oculus Rift combination.
The master of ceremonies for the evening – Perry Voulgaris – hosted a panel with:
Creative Director – Secret Location
Creative artist with twenty years professional experience in a variety of related media – creating interactive and immersive experiences.
Associate Technical Director – Secret Location
VP Convergent – Smokebomb
19 years creating, planning and developing interactive media projects, primarily for the film and TV industry.
J. Lee Williams
Director of Stuff and Things – OccupiedVR
An award-winning VFX + animation director with many alter egos: illustrator, comic book artist, animator, flash developer, VFX director, film producer and his main role as commercial and film director
Perry Voulgaris (Moderator) Chief Business Development – AWE
Over 25 years in media, sports and entertainment, 20 years in digital media, 15 years executive management: leading teams in the delivery of successful media, sports and entertainment properties.
…discussing current projects, funding strategies, and a look at the tools for 2016 content creation.
Virtual + Augmented + Peripherals Showcase Area
Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift and Leap Motion demos
Augmented Reality: 4D Augmented reality demo – showing great examples of Augmented Reality with a model of the living, pulsing, heart in AR, as well as a model of a human male/female in AR.
Shok Kreative showed their new 360 immersive video:
GRAFFITI ALLEY | AN IMMERSIVE VR SHORT
Graffiti Alley is a short Virtual Reality film opening in a colorful graffiti riddled alley where the graffiti comes to life bit by bit. Eventually a Graffiti Girl trapped in a colorful 2D Graffiti World comes to life.
She discovers the world existing in three dimensions just outside of her reach and breaks through the barrier. She explores it with wonder and curiosity which eventually erodes into confusion and fear which drives her back into the safety of her colorful simple world.
CAST | CREW
Graffiti Girl | Ann PirvuWriter/Director | Isaac Rayment 360 Camera/DP | Terry MyersStitch Master | Stitch Master BSpecial FX/Animation | Isaac RaymentOriginal Sound Score/Sound Design | Matt Redman
Here was the complete schedule:
7:00p – Demos
7:15 – Video Greeting from VRTO founder Keram Malicki-Sanchez + Featurette about L.A. Augmented Reality artist Daniel Leighton
7:35 – Opening remarks, key news details
7:40p – Dale Rosen presents 3DUI
8:00 – Soft break, light refreshments, demos
8:20 – Panel Discussion
8:50 – Moderated attendee announcements
9:00-9:45pm – Demos til close
VRTO will also be hosting a meetup for anyone attending VRLA Winter 2016 – January 24th in downtown Los Angeles. Stay tuned for that meetup!
Don’t forget to follow VRTO on Twitter and Instagram at@vrtoronto for around the clock updates. You can also use hashtag #vrtoronto across all social media.
Special thanks to Murray Mckercher and Brightlane.ca for facilitating the location.
Attendance is free to all VRTO Meetup Group Members. RSVP is required.