The recent coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has stymied many of the industry’s most important conferences and expos this year. To avoid this, HTC today announced it will be holding its next Vive Ecosystem Conference (VEC) from within virtual reality.
Update (March 7th, 2020): It was previously reported that VEC would take place at 5:30 PM PT on March 18th, which was calculated erroneously by us. It actually starts an hour later at 6:30 PM PT. We’ve listed the GMT starting time at the bottom of this piece.
Furthermore, the official online registration opens on March 10th. You can go to the Engage website to sign up for the event and reserve your spot.
The so called Virtual Vive Ecosystem Conference (stylized as V²EC) is slated to take place on March 19th in Engage, the education & training-focused social VR platform created by Immersive VR Education, the same minds behind VR experiences Apollo 11 VR and Titanic VR.
The news was announced by HTC Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin in a tweet, stating that virtual attendees can follow along either via 6DOF VR headset or livestream via monitor.
#V2EC: As industry events are being cancelled WW, we’ll hold the world’s first fully #virtual industry #conference in #VR! 3/19 via #Engage. Access in 6DoF VR or live stream on 🖥💻📱. Top speakers+amazing conf experience!🦄 Zero carbon🌏, zero travel🛫& no 😷 needed! @htcvive pic.twitter.com/OqLOVB6QwJ
— Alvin Wang Graylin (汪丛青) (@AGraylin) March 6, 2020
Last year’s VEC, which took place in Shenzhen, China, saw a number of announcements including global pricing and availability of Vive Focus Plus and the announcement of several updates to Vive Wave. Although VR telecommuters will miss a chance at playing around with Vive Cosmos and its modular faceplates.
Out of all the industries with potential to ‘go VR’ in the wake of coronavirus cancellations, HTC’s move makes the most sense here considering developers in the medium should already own a headset capable of connecting to Engage, which supports PC VR, Oculus Quest, and Vive Focus Plus.
It’s uncertain to what extent the conference’s events will actually take place in VR, or whether it will be more of a glorified livestream viewing party. Whatever the case, Graylin says that it will be simulcast in both Chinese and English, and there’s sure to be lively discussion in both languages in the virtual space as a result.
Developers looking to take part can simply register and download Engage. The conference is slated to begin at 1:30 AM GMT on March 19th (local time here). The official online registration opens on March 10th. You can go to the Engage website to sign up for the event and reserve your spot.
Thanks to Antony Vitillo of VR publication Skarred Ghost for the tip. Grazie Sig. Ghostman!