John Root co-founded VRLA with Cosmo Scharf in 2014, and it has organically grown into a thriving VR event with over 10,000 attendees at the Los Angeles Convention Center. VRLA is a non-profit where funding from sponsors helps to support about half of their exhibitors within the event’s Indie Zone, which helps them feature a lot of innovative independent VR experiments and start-ups. VRLA is happening this year on May 4th and 5th. I had a chance to walk the showroom floor of VRLA 2017 with Root where he took me on a guided tour through the history of VRLA, his thoughts on AR, using VR for film production, the future of privacy in AR/VR, as well as why he is interested in seeing where eSports in VR is headed.
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Here’s the full press release for VRLA 2018 (Road to VR readers can save 15% on passes, details here):
Announcing VRLA 2018 Keynotes & Expo Highlights
The Biggest Immersive Tech Event of the Year Returns May 4-5, Exploring “A New Reality.”
Los Angeles, CA (April 12, 2018) – Experience next generation immersive technologies and explore “A New Reality” at VRLA, the leading virtual and augmented reality expo, May 4-5 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Industry-leading companies sponsoring this year’s expo include Intel, Dell, Qualcomm, VIVEPORT, Microsoft, Neurogaming and OptiTrack, as well as a full lineup of innovative companies shaping the future of immersive tech. Passes are available now and start at just $30, and for the first time ever attendees can register in VR via the official Payscout VRLA Registration 2018 app.
Saturday’s keynote will feature a live performance by Light Balance, the captivating dance group from “America’s Got Talent.” Equipped with custom-designed suits that integrate a complex light system with unique wireless controllers, Light Balance blends expert synchronization of music, neon lighting and choreography with breathtaking performances. The Saturday keynote lineup also includes:
- Walt Disney Imagineering SVP Jon Snoddy
- A world premiere from Skydance, with Chris Hewish, EVP Games & Interactive and Pablo Leon-Luna, VR Developer
- Special announcements from Intel, with Kumar Kaushik, GM, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
- YouTube star Vsauce3 (aka Jake Roper)
- A special announcement from Ricoh
- VR/AR expert and futurist Charlie Fink
VR and AR professionals who purchase the 2-day industry-focused Pro Pass will gain access to Friday’s keynote in the Dell Theater, featuring a mesmerizing performance by Digital Deception, aka Doug McKenzie and Ryan Oakes – an illusionary duo that combines interactive magic with technology for an unforgettable live spectacle. Friday keynote speakers include:
- Cliff Plumer, CEO, The VOID
- Rikard Steiber, President Viveport and SVP of Virtual Reality, HTC Vive
- Gary Radburn, Director, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Dell
- Hugo Swart, Senior Director of XR Product Management, Qualcomm
- Katie Kelly, Head of Engagement, AltspaceVR / Microsoft
In addition to Friday’s keynotes, attendees who purchase the Pro Pass will benefit from access to the full expo, shorter demo lines and an exclusive lineup of professional and developer programming – including “VR Valuation: What Drives ROI,” “Artificial Minds in Artificial Spaces,” “Can VR Be Decentralized Using Blockchain?” and “Discovering New Worlds: Using VR/AR/MR for Space Exploration,” a session with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Saturday sessions feature industry experts from companies including Facebook, Glitched, VIVEPORT, The Third Floor, Vulcan, Kilograph, Framestore, VIBEHub, Walt Disney Animation, TheWaveVR, Chaos Group, Light Sail VR, Sunnyboy Entertainment, OTOY and more.
From location-based entertainment, motion simulators and VR arcades, to next-gen haptics, 360-degree cameras and the hottest product launches across virtual and augmented reality, this year’s expo will feature something for everyone to explore.
In collaboration with LACMA, the breathtaking centerpiece of this year’s show floor will be Mezo, a 20-foot tall futuristic temple equipped with synchronized LED panels, lasers and spatial music. The interactive art installation will evoke an alternate future where ancient Mesoamerican societies have become technologically advanced, taking attendees on a visually and sonically stunning journey through destruction, creation and rebirth.
For horror fanatics, Red Frog Digital’s Zombie Holomaze will offer a terrifying AR experience for attendees to explore while wearing a Microsoft HoloLens. Mega Particle will debut its cross-platform Virtual Poker Table, with live play culminating in a tournament with award-winning poker champion Phil Hellmuth. For zen and psychedelic experiences, attendees won’t want to miss the Visual Reality Zone, featuring mind-bending immersive digital art installations. Additional expo highlights include Xtrematic’s extreme sports simulator, bHaptics’ full-body haptic suit, Bioflight’s VR medical training simulations and Phasespace’s large-scale motion capture system.
For industry professionals, students and attendees looking to cultivate their skills in VR and AR development, Circuit Stream – the official workshop partner of VRLA 2018 – will offer a variety of cutting-edge educational sessions designed to teach Unity development for platforms like Google Daydream, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, ARKit, ARCore and Microsoft HoloLens. Attendees can sign up for Circuit Stream’s workshops when they register for VRLA. The “Girls Make VR” workshop is also returning to this year’s expo, offering teenage girls 13-18 the opportunity to learn and create with the latest technology behind today’s most popular VR experiences.
For more information on VRLA 2018 and to purchase passes, visit: http://virtualrealityla.com/
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Music: Fatality & Summer Trip