This year Ian Forester, CEO of VR Playhouse, hold a similar critical note. While we all wonder what we gain in the new realities, with immersive video and another level of information that will guide us through the world, Ian asked what we divulge.
The keywords here are: #Big Data, #Subconsciousness, #Depth. Scary, isn’t it? In real life that translates into make societies drift away even further apart, with social engineering, manipulated elections, Facebook bubbles and presidential fake news bullshit bingo.
But the VR NOW Con & Awards also wanted to show off a little. What is VR capable of right now, why is VR such a great medium, how will it define our entertainment, gaming, storytelling, industry training and information in the near future?
Max Salomon (Black Dot Films VR) and Maria Courtial (Faber Courtial) showed how to produce high quality immersive content for the old media e.g. National Geographic and ZDF. Laura Jeffords Greenberg told the attendees what content is popular on the LittlStar platform.
Dominik Kaeser is the inventor and team lead of Google Earth VR and gave an in depth look into the development process of one of the most popular and smoothest VR experiences you can get right now.
Gabo Arora (Lightshed) talked about using VR for making people empathic, sharing also uncomfortable experiences about wars, crisis and the people suffering from it.
Kristian Costa-Zahn (UFA LAB) and Oliver Schreer (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute) shared how they are going to start with volumetric video, a major advancement in making films you can actually freely move in.
Marcus Kühne is Audi’s head of VR and has set up more than 100 point of sale experiences for Audi customers who can compile their own cars from scratch, as well as making fun experiences like Audi sandbox.
The conference’s guests from China (Yiming Niu is president of the VRAR Association of China, Rebecca Liu is head of VR Core, China’s biggest association for VR creators) gave insights about the Chinese market, what content is wanted by the consumers, what content is produced by the creators.
Two roundtable discussions concentrated on the American market, especially Hollywood (with Chris Sibley from Phenomenon Media, Andrew van Wyk from River Road Entertainment and, again, the amazing Laura Jeffords) and the trinity of markets in Europe, China and the USA (with Chris Sibley from Phenomenon Media, Drew van Wyk from River Road Entertainment, Sven Bliedung from SLICE and Yiming Niu from VRARA).
On stage 2, you could listen to speakers from the BerlinBalticNordic.net region. Greg Louden is working as the lead game designer for 3rd Eye Studios from Finland. The first episode of their VR game series Downward Spiral is simply amazing. Pawel Gajda (Carbon Studio) is the Polish creator of Alice VR. He was touching the point of locomotion – moving – in VR, which is still a tricky thing.
Check out the VR NOW Con & Awards 2017 playlist on YouTube to see all the talks.
Photos by Grzegorz Karkoszka