With major consumer VR headsets on the precipice of shipping, NVIDIA’s has put virtual reality among the top focuses of their annual GTC conference coming next month.

Hosted in San Jose, CA, from April 4-7, GTC 2016 is all about GPU computing. And this year, the company is making virtual reality a top topic of the event, with a dedicated VR track featuring 45 talks and sessions from speakers across the industry.

Featured speakers include Jaunt VR CTO, Arthur Van Hoff; ILMxLab Principal Engineer, Lutz Latta; and Unity Principal Engineer, Amir Ebrahimi, who will be respectively speaking about large-scale video processing for VR, the technology powering ILMxLab’s immersive experiences, and the opportunity for VR in training, teaching, and creation tools.

That’s just three sessions among more than 40 others from companies like OTOY, Audi, and Autodesk. You can browse the full list of VR sessions coming to GTC 2016 here. The GPU-focused conference will also include the VR Village where attendees can explore the latest advances in VR technology and the GPUs making it possible.

Taking place during GTC is the ECS VR Showcase which has accepted eight young companies which will present their virtual reality works on stage to compete for $30,000 in cash and prizes.

Register for GTC 2016

Flight Combat Game 'Project Wingman' Launches Today with SteamVR Support

Save 20% on a ticket to GTC through March 18th using the code VRSAVE20.

See Also: NVIDIA Takes the Lid Off ‘Gameworks VR’ – Technical Deep Dive and Community Q&A

NVIDIA is naturally quite interested in virtual reality as the industry demands high-end GPUs for quality VR experiences. The company’s VRWorks initiative focuses on optimizing NVIDIA GPUs for optimal virtual reality rendering performance, with features like Multi-Res Shading, VR SLI, Context Priority, Direct Mode support for VR headsets, and more.

Road to VR is a proud media sponsor of GTC 2016

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  • MosBen

    I feel like one of the big breakthroughs for VR, especially “room scale” VR will be when we start to see laptops under $1k that meet or exceed the system requirements of the Rift and Vive. VR is really something that people need to see in person, and being able to pack a backpack with your VR gear and laptop will make spreading it much easier.

    • Dobba

      Why think ‘laptop’? How about a box that is basically processor, SSD, GPU and battery that is portable but easy to carry? I think a laptop form factor is limiting in a sense – it has to accommodate a screen and keyboard. If you could take those away and just connect to a keyboard wirelessly when you need one then the form factor could change and allow it to be more portable on a backpack.

      • MosBen

        First, laptops are useful devices separate and apart from VR. My parents aren’t going to buy a VR box, but they will almost certainly stroll into Best Buy in a couple years and buy a new laptop. If that $500-$800 laptop happens to work with VR there’s a chance (albeit a small one at the moment) that they’d use VR. Also, rather than asking a company to make some specialized device a VR laptop only asks that they make a thing that they already know how to make, just with a graphics chip. Finally, when showing new people how VR works it’s nice for the people not in the headset to be able to see what is going on.

        • Dobba

          Yes, I get that. But for VR to be truly wireless until we can stream 2K or 4K wirelessly, a laptop (for me) is a bulk you don’t need. To get the graphics power required you need a great big hulking laptop which is unwieldy. If you had a box with no screen and keyboard you could shrink it down, put a large battery and better graphics card in there, rather than a mobile graphics card, and it would be more portable. You’d be wire free – which is the ultimate aim and why mobile VR may take off more than wired VR.

          • MosBen

            Yes, gaming enthusiast laptops tend to be big, bulky affairs, but in a few generations of mobile graphics chips we’ll hopefully see premium laptop class machines (HP Envy, etc.) that are VR capable. Those would not only be machines that people would buy because they want a nice laptop, they’d also not be particularly bulky. And again, I think that a VR box as you’ve described it might be a fun build for me to make, but I don’t see them selling in Best Buy.

          • Dobba

            I have to say that I believe you’re thinking in the ‘now’ rather than > the future. A laptop strapped to your back is not where we’re headed. =)

          • MosBen

            Well, like I said, I’m talking about what will be a “breakthrough” in VR catching on. We may abandon the laptop form factor at some point, but in the next 2-3 years laptops will still be very common and will likely be able to run VR applications well. And allowing high-quality VR to be portable will, I believe, be a “breakthrough” for the adoption of the technology. Maybe after that we’ll move onto portable VR boxes, but at that level of speculation why not dream about the day when we’ll have sunglasses-type form factors that carry all the hardware and batteries internally?

    • realtrisk

      I agree. To get a laptop that would even work in VR, I had to get a $2k Alienware, then add on their graphics amplifier and a 980ti. Almost 3k at the end of it… and lugging that amplifier around, while not impossible, will be a bit of a pain.

      And before anybody comes in and asks why I’d do that when I could get a desktop that would work just as well for a fraction of the cost, I needed a laptop for on the go use. With this, I can unplug the amplifier and still have a portable computing platform, which I could not do with a desktop.

      • MosBen

        Yeah, I looked into it the other day. I’m thinking that in a year we’ll see some premium laptops ($1k-$1.5k) with VR capabilities, and maybe a year after that we’ll see them crack a thousand bucks.

  • Psychomoufle

    Oh yes, please Nvidia. Do something about SLI usage, which is just a natural way to deal with VR headsets. That would also scale down the technical requirements by a lot. Happy owner of a 670M SLI for four years, if I had to buy another machine, I’d go for a HBM SLI at the end of the year to make it future proof.