oculus connect conferenceLast time we checked in with the Oculus Connect schedule, the company had elaborated on most of the sessions that would take place, but left several timeslots ‘to be announced’. Oculus has now updated the schedule with all but one timeslot now filled, including the addition of a session dedicated to Samsung’s Gear VR headset.

Oculus Connect will be hosted in Los Angeles, California, from September 19–20 at the Loews Hollywood hotel. The company calls it “a developer conference that brings together engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world to share and collaborate in the interest of creating the best virtual reality experiences possible.”

Here’s the full schedule with changes (since the last time we checked in) highlighted:

Friday, September 19th

5:00 PM – Building the First Rift Development Kit

Nirav Patel, Engineer @ Oculus

5:00 PM – The Human Visual System & The Rift

Richard Yao, PhD, Experimental Perceptual Psychologist @ Oculus
This talk will focus on the human component of VR: your perceptual system. We will discuss what it is doing inside (and outside) the Rift and how that informs the relative comfort of various experiences.

5:00 PM – The Value of VR for Professional Applications

Sebastian Kuntz, President @ I’m in VR
VR has been used by professionals for the last 20 years because it saves lives, time and money. Long before the Oculus Rift, engineers have used VR to design and prototype cars, planes, boats, and more. Virtual supermarkets are created to study the impact of a store layout and product packaging. Training simulations are used by a wide variety of professionals like firefighters and surgeons. Therapists use VR to treat phobias in a controlled environment. We will go through all these applications (and many more) and see why VR is an invaluable tool for life.

6:00 PM – Welcome Reception

Palmer Luckey, Founder @ Oculus
Please join us for food, drinks, and a birthday toast to Oculus founder, Palmer Luckey. Palmer will share welcome remarks and a quick overview of Connect before we celebrate his birthday and enjoy a drink with fellow attendees.

7:00 PM – Demo Lounge Opens

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Share your latest work with fellow developers at the Demo Lounge. This lounge will be open throughout the course of the conference with content to share. There will be a limited number of PCs and DK2s available for use.

Saturday, September 20th

7:00AM – Breakfast

9:30 AM – Keynote by Brendan Iribe

Brendan Iribe, CEO @ Oculus

10:45 AM – Keynote by Michael Abrash

Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist @ Oculus
In the surprisingly near future, VR is very likely to transform how we interact with information, computers, and each other. But the future doesn’t get made by some ethereal, inevitable force; it’s made by the actions of specific individuals who bring it into existence. Those of us attending Oculus Connect are among the fortunate few who will make VR happen. This talk will discuss why VR is likely to be a key part of our future, why it’s different from anything that’s come before, and what that implies for developers.

11:30 AM – Keynote by John Carmack

John Carmack, CTO @ Oculus

12:00 PM – Demo Lounge Opens

1:00 PM – Lunch

2:15 PM – Keynote Panel: The Future of VR

Moderator: Nate Mitchell, VP Product @ Oculus
An open discussion on the future of virtual reality from some of the leading visionaries in the industry. Questions from the audience and social media via Twitter (#FutureOfVR) will be welcome!

Panel Speakers:

    • Michael Abrash, Chief Scientist @ Oculus
    • Atman Binstock, Chief Architect @ Oculus
    • John Carmack, CTO @ Oculus
    • Palmer Luckey, Founder @ Oculus

3:30 PM – Developing for the Rift DK2

Volga Aksoy, Software Engineer @ Oculus & Mike Antonov, Chief Software Architect @ Oculus
This talk is ideal for developers who are looking to utilize the Rift DK2 and the latest Oculus SDK to create better VR experiences. The lecture will focus on the internal implementation details and practical aspects of how new features can be integrated into different game engine architectures, and will also explore more theoretical aspects of technologies still being developed. Focal points will include end-to-end latency tracking, dynamic prediction, judder and latency mitigation strategies, and other visual improvements in the SDK.

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3:30 PM – Best Practices for VR Development

Tom Forsyth, Software Architect @ Oculus
Virtual reality is significantly different to monitor-based games in many ways. Many choices that are merely stylistic for traditional games become incredibly important in VR, while others become irrelevant. At Oculus we have collected together our own experiences working on VR titles, and those of other developers working on our platform, and it has taught us a lot of surprising things. Some of these lessons are obvious when looking at the shipped products, but there are many paths explored that ended in failure, and subtleties that were highly complex and absolutely crucial to get right, but may not be apparent when playing the games. In this talk, I’ll focus on a handful of the most important challenges that designers and developers should be considering when exploring virtual reality for the first time.

3:30 PM – Learning from UE4 Engine Integration and Demos

Nick Whiting, Lead Programmer @ Epic Games & Nick Donaldson, Senior Designer @ Epic Games
We’ll give a high-level overview of how we integrated the Oculus Rift hardware into Unreal Engine 4, with a focus on tricks we used to reduce latency and optimize the engine. Additionally, we’ll go through the successes, failures, and learning experiences we’ve had creating VR experiences to premiere Oculus’s prototype hardware.

4:45 PM – Learning from Lucky’s Tale

Paul Bettner, CEO @ Playful Studios & Dan Hurd, Design Director @ Playful Studios
Two years ago we saw the future. Huddled around Palmer’s cluttered desk in 2012, we held a duct-taped device up to our eyes and peered into another world. That moment changed the course of our careers. Soon after, we founded Playful Corp and jumped head-first into the deep end of VR game development. This is our story – from the early days of crazy-rapid prototyping and instant nausea through the ah-ha moment of third-person camera design and the amazing debut of Lucky’s Tale at E3. We’ll show you dozens of prototypes, share our spectacular failures and discuss the surprising successes. Join us for a walkthrough of Lucky’s development and beyond!

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4:45 PM – To Be Announced

6:00 PM – Getting Started with Gear VR

Ryan Rutherford, Software Engineer @ Oculus & Max Cohen, VP Mobile @ Oculus
Getting Started with Gear VR will cover the basics of developing content for the Gear VR Innovator Edition powered by Oculus. A brief overview of initial launch content, hardware, and commerce plans will be followed by an in-depth, developer-led session. This will cover using Unity with the Oculus Mobile SDK to quickly create a VR project, along with tips and tricks to make an optimized experience that runs at 60 frames per second on the Note 4 hardware.

6:00 PM – Introduction Audio for Virtual Reality

Brian Hook, Audio Engineering @ Oculus
This talk is an overview of the unique problems and solutions for audio in virtual reality. We will be discussing presence, sound design, 3D audio spatialization, and headphone based audio, all in the context of immersing the player in their environment.

6:00 PM – Film and Storytelling in VR

Moderator: Eugene Chung, Director, Film & Media, Oculus
Storytelling in virtual reality is still in its infancy, but it represents an exciting new medium of artistic expression that is a revolutionary departure from the moving pictures of today. Learn from Robert Stromberg a multi-Oscar-winner and director of “Maleficent”. Hear about exploratory work in the Rift using iconic “Star Wars” content with Lucasfilm’s John Gaeta, the inventor of bullet time in “The Matrix”. Ponder the intricacies of real-time game engines and why they could represent the future of real time cinema with award-winning VFX thought leader Kim Libreri, CTO of Epic Games. And find out more about Oculus’s own early experimentation with VR storytelling with Saschka Unseld, director of Pixar’s “The Blue Umbrella”.

Panel Speakers:

    • Robert Stromberg, Director of Maleficent
    • Saschka Unseld, Director of The Blue Umbrella

6:00 PM – Demo Lounge Remains Open All Evening

7:00 PM – Closing Night Cocktail Reception and Poolside Party

Please join us poolside to enjoy food, drink, musical entertainment, and great company to discuss the day’s events and the future of virtual reality.

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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."