The first ever Develop:VR conference debuts in London tomorrow, December 1st. We preview the event by speaking with five speakers presenting at the show.

Produced by the same company responsible for the popular Develop:Brighton conference, Develop:VR is drawing top VR creatives from across the UK to share insights learned from the rapidly evolving virtual reality landscape. Tickets to Develop:VR are still available, including free access to the Expo and Networking events (but you must register!).

Road to VR London Correspondent Jon Tustain previews the conference with a series of five interviews from speakers presenting at tomorrow’s conference. Presented in audio format, the 30 minute episode can be listened below:

Speakers Interviewed (in order)

Dr. Charles Nduka – Co-founder, Emteq
Develop:VR Presentation: VR Analytics: Is Gaze Tracking Enough?

dr-charles-ndukaCharles Nduka is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Emteq Ltd a company focussed on measuring facial expressions and emotions. His background is as a surgeon and internationally recognised facial muscle expert. This work led him to develop a patent pending technology for non-invasive facial expression monitoring using wearable technology.

Charles published the first review of virtual reality for surgical training in 1994 and has an extensive background in research and the evaluation of new technologies. He has won numerous research and development awards including from the Wellcome Trust, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and Innovate UK. Emteq Ltd was founded in 2015 to improve lives through the development of facial sensing healthcare solutions and is applying its technology to VR.

Solomon Rogers – Founder, REWIND
Develop:VR Presentation: VR Production: From Story-telling to Story-living 

solomon-rogers-rewindSol founded REWIND, a VR and creative digital agency, in 2011 after growing demands for his professional work pulled him away from 15 years as a University Senior Lecturer in Digital Animation, Visual Effects & Emerging Technology.

Since then, Sol has grown Rewind into an industry award winning tribe of vibrant creative technologists and digital artists. Focused on harnessing immersive technologies to deliver groundbreaking VR, AR, Animation, DOOH, VFX and 360 degree video projects for some of the world’s largest brands including Sony, BBC, Red Bull, Microsoft and Lexus. The team has also been working closely as an approved content provider for Oculus (Rift), Valve (Vive), Samsung (Gear VR) and Fove, plus building release VR demos for Autodesk, AMD and The Foundry.

peter-pashley-ustwo-gamesPeter Pashley – Head of Development, Ustwo Games
Develop:VR Presentation: VR for Everyone: Lessons from Monument Valley in the Success of Land’s End

Peter is Head of Development at Ustwo Games. With a background in AAA console development, he has spent the last five years at Ustwo Games learning to make successful mobile games. He was tech lead on the BAFTA-award-winning Monument Valley (2014) and co-directed Gear VR hit Land’s End (2015).

Daniel Efergan – Group Creative Director of Digital, Aardman Animations
Develop:VR Presentation: Trying To Connect

daniel-efergan-aardman-animationsDaniel Efergan is the Group Creative Director of Digital at Aardman Animations. What this actually means is he gets to spend lots of time doing fun things like making games, forming playful communities, and messing around in the murky bits between storytelling and interactivity.

With story at the heart of everything Aardman makes they find themselves overly excited by new and interesting forms of storytelling… VR & 360 is no exception. To date Aardman have created the 360 story Special Delivery (2015) for Google Spotlight, and We Wait, an animated VR doc for the BBC.

Pete Short – CTO, Breaking Forth
Develop:VR Presentation: The Future of Stories in Virtual Reality

pete-short-breaking-forthPete is the CTO at Breaking Fourth, a company dedicated to telling incredible stories in virtual reality. While studying for a Masters of Digital Media at the University of New South Wales, he found a passion for creating emotional stories in mixed media. More recently he was the Director of Visualisations at Omnicom Media Group.

Breaking Fourth’s latest drama Ctrl has been incredibly well received by industry experts as the way forward for long form narrative VR. By focusing primarily on mobile VR, Breaking Fourth wants to make VR films accessible and easily distributable to a mainstream audience.

Road to VR is a proud media sponsor of Develop:VR 2016

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."