The 2016 Vision VR/AR Summit focuses on immersive technologies and in its inaugural year is boasting quite a long list of luminaries as part its line up. This year, alongside addresses from Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality at Google and Dr. Richard Marks, Director of the PlayStation Magic Lab, there’ll also be a rare appearance from Valve’s Gabe Newell, giving a special address via video.

Update (2/5/16, 4:36 PT): Representatives from the Vision Summit reached out to clarify that Newell’s address would come via video rather than in person.

Unity as a company have spearheaded the support and adoption of virtual reality as a technology since the early days of the Oculus Rift. Their game development platform has enabled the creation of a huge number of VR projects, the vast majority in those early days, and remains an excellent choice for VR developers today.

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To mark this commitment to immersive development, last year Unity announced it was to hold a conference dedicated to augmented and virtual reality. It’s now just around the corner with a roster of speakers that reflects the technology industry’s growing focus on AR and VR

See Also: Valve’s Chet Faliszek on HTC Vive Pre, Content Showcase Surprises and Ninja Cats
See Also: Valve’s Chet Faliszek on HTC Vive Pre, Content Showcase Surprises and Ninja Cats

A surprise and rare address is set to come from one of gaming’s most famous of names, co-founder and Managing Director of Valve, Gabe Newell. Newell’s address during the event is of course in light of this year’s big push from Valve for its SteamVR platform and the first virtual reality hardware developed for it, HTC’s Vive VR headset. The system will launch in April and from what we’ve seen, Valve’s full force is behind the project with developers all over the world building projects

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Oculus founder Palmer Luckey will give a speech too, marking the company’s ramp up to delivering their much anticipated Oculus Rift VR headset, which opened pre-orders in January and is due to begin shipping at the end of March.

See Also: Oculus Founder: “pre-orders are going much better than I ever could have possibly expected”

Google's Clay Bavor
Google’s Clay Bavor

Google’s Clay Bavor will also speak. Co-creator of Google’s Cardboard project, Bavor now heads up Google’s stronger focus on the development of immersive technologies, including their 360 video technology pipeline, Jump and perhaps their own consumer line of VR hardware.

Rounding out the list of speakers from this year’s virtual reality battle for VR supremacy battle is Dr. Richard Marks, Director of the PlayStation Magic Lab, credited with the creation of PlayStation Eye, Move and Project Morpheus, the PS4 VR headset now known as PlayStation VR. The PSVR is due in the 2nd half of 2016 for PlayStation 4.

The event takes place February 10-11 in Hollywood at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, CA and will play host to more than 40 breakout sessions covering the latest technologies and best practices, designed to help make developers lives easier when building VR and AR apps and games in Unity. You can grab tickets to the event right here.

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  • user

    vuforia isnt too shabby either. ive watched the ptc livestream a couple of days ago. their platform could be interesting. i would like to see more of the thingbuilder.

  • Mateusz

    About time! Valve’s PR has been shady at best compared to what Oculus is doing. Palmer has always taken it to twitter/reddit to address whatever consumers were unhappy about. Valve usually just plays some games, offering fake consumer release dates to force others to make their move etc. I’ve never heard from Gabe or any other senior executive, just from some random “errand boys” that were repeating same marketing stuff to each and every journalist. Maybe this speech from Gabe will clear the air a bit, I am really curious to hear what’s his vision.

    • user

      what needs to be addressed?

      • Mateusz

        Everything that is wrong about Vive is being kept hush hush. Old lighthouses were very noisy and were making surfaces tremble. But we didn’t know about it. Vive dev forum is a ghost town etc. To be honest I know nothing about Vive outside press releases.

        • user

          Why would they talk about the noise of dev (!) kits to the public and not just to devs?

          • Mateusz

            Well DK2 and DK1 were also dev kits, yet Palmer didn’t have any problems communicating all the shortcomings. So maybe I’m spoiled. Also they’re communicating only with selected Devs. Like I said their forum is a ghost town. But nevermind.

          • user

            luckey is super excited. he is young. newell had his first vr experience 5 years before luckey was born. you cant expect both to react the same way.
            i think faliszek did a good job.

          • Kristoph

            The DK1 and DK2 were more steam early access than dev kits. It was a marketing strategy to launch a headset that technically wasn’t intended for consumers, but readily available to them so fuel mass interest and adoption rates. Only a small fraction of these kits went to actual devs.

    • Matt

      You’re retarded.

    • VR4EVER

      Calling Chet Faliszek an “errand boy”, yeah shure. Pffft.

      • Mateusz

        I was referring to Ryan Hoopingarner :) I know Chet gave some interviews which were interesting but not that informative – also he wasn’t the one demoing or manning the stations like Palmer & Nate. Interviews with these two are super informative, especially when you have a competent interviewer (like Ben Lang over here). Just to let you know, I’m also excited to hear Gabe speak about VR.

  • VR4EVER

    Oh Gaben! Please, give us a sign!

    Last time I remember you talking, was Steam Machines. Btw. what happened to them?

    Oh well, who cares? It’s Gabe Newell talking VR ladies and Gents!