TORONTO Tuesday, June 6, 2017 — VRTO (Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo), Canada’s largest virtual reality convention, laser-focused on experiential/immersive technologies returns for the second annual edition of its critically acclaimed deep-dive symposium at Ryerson University’s Rogers Communication Centre in Toronto from June 24th to 26th. Spanning three days and featuring more than 65 international expert speakers, 40 VR/AR exhibitors and 10 rooms, halls and studios each focused on different disciplines and interests — from Web VR to spatialized audio — VRTO brings the best and brightest from the VR world together under one roof.
“Spatialized media technologies that include virtual and augmented reality are growing exponentially and we want Canada to be at the fore of the movement,” said Keram Malicki-Sanchez, VRTO Founder and Executive Director. “VR isn’t simply something for ‘Toys”R”Us’shelves at Christmas; VR & AR will be a part of everything with profound implications for many industries. Health, education, entertainment, commerce, tourism, research — these technologies will transform the world — and VRTO prides itself on being a true change agent for the conversation around the technology and its many applications.”
VRTO 2017 has offerings for all levels of virtual and augmented reality expertise. Two days of intensive training are available for developers and seasoned professionals looking to learn further advanced techniques. A one-day film & TV industry “onboarding” workshop takes place via VRTO’s on-site TV studio for those looking to learn how to shoot and utilize VR/360° video and audio. While curated immersive content pavilions will feature the best interactive VR games, prototypes and experiences in virtual, augmented and mixed reality for attendees to enjoy duringVRTO’s full run.
Among several major announcements, VRTO sees a major breakthrough in autism research announced by keynote speaker, Canadian virtual reality pioneer Graham Smith. Smith — Chief Science Officer of Dutch educational tech company WebChair — will reveal the incredible results from the Ontario government backed WEBMOTI global research project. WEBMOTI, a telepresence system using VR technology, allows autistic students who often struggle with sensory overload in classrooms to attend classes remotely and fully control the sensory input they receive on their end.
“With the WEBMOTI project we’re helping to open a door for autistic students into a world the rest of us consider normal,” said Graham Smith, Chief Science Officer of WebChair and VRTOkeynote speaker. “The project is about integration over isolation, and the incredible results we’re announcing back that. We’re helping these kids to finally control their environment, building their confidence so they’re motivated to go back to school — an outcome we’ve seen with all 30 students that have participated in the study.”
VRTO 2017 consists of one of the most prestigious lists of VR industry titans ever assembled. Some of 2017’s speakers, exhibitors and activations include:
- Graham Smith — Canadian VR pioneer; Chief Science Officer of Dutch educational technology company WebChair
- Moses Znaimer — Canadian media mogul; creator of Dora Award-winning audience-interactive play “Tamara” and “Tour of the Universe” the world’s first flight simulator ride (operated beneath the CN Tower; 1985-1990)
- Dr. Walter Greenleaf — Stanford University research neuroscientist, technologist and leading authority on the medical applications of virtual reality technology
- Dr. Sarah Diamond — President of OCAD University
- Dr. Maria Karam — Inventor, entrepreneur, and leading academic in the computing sciences; curating a special pavilion of works at the intersection of art and technology, featuring: holograms, projection mapping, VR, AR, and haptics
- David A. Smith — Computer scientist; creator of both the first 3D interactive game“The Colony” and the virtual set/camera used in James Cameron’s “The Abyss”
- Representatives from AMD (Roy Taylor), Microsoft (Eduardo Cuervo) and Google (Jai Krishnan)
- FIVARS (Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories) Pavilion — the world’s best immersive shorts, hosted inside an 8K projection mapped spherical cylinder from UK based 360° projection company Igloo Vision, debuting in Canada
- HumanEyes — creators of the VUZE VR Camera (the world’s first 3D, 360°, spherical virtual reality camera); making its Canadian debut and available for sale at VRTO
- VR Arcade — A highly stylized arcade featuring multiple VR activations from Canadian developers Secret Location and Iris VR
- A special panel celebrating the past and future of artist-run tech co-ops featuring four local Toronto based artist-run media art centres: Trinity Square Video, Charles Street Video, Gamma Space, and Dames Making Games
VRTO 2017 takes place at Ryerson University’s Rogers Communication Centre (80 Gould St, Toronto) Sunday, June 25th to Monday, June 26th from 10am-6pm daily; with a special media/VIP preview and reception taking place Saturday, June 24th from 1pm-6pm.
Tickets are available at conference.virtualreality.to.
VRTO (Virtual & Augmented Reality World Conference & Expo), brings the best and the brightest from around the world together under one roof for an internationally recognized and critically-acclaimed symposium in Toronto, Canada. Known for its ground-breaking talks, roundtable discussions, intensive training, onboarding workshops, structured networking events, and themed pavilions, it’s the largest conference on the eastern seaboard of North America, featuring more than 65 speakers, 40+ exhibitors and 10+ active rooms, halls and studios focused like a laser on VR & AR. For more information visit conference.virtualreality.to.
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.