February 19th, 2018
World’s First Conference Held Entirely in Virtual Reality (VR)
I’m an instructor in the Multimedia Production program at Lethbridge College. For the past couple of years, I have taught a basic VR game design course. I wanted to involve the students in a larger scale VR project.
With the focus on social and enterprise applications of VR increasing, I felt the time was right to plan a VR/AR conference, held completely in VR. The event is primarily student-led, which adds to the uniqueness of the event. VR will change education and conferences and this project will be pivotal in this change.
The Traditional Training Experience
Conferences have been always been a staple for professionals to connect and learn. I remember attending several conferences and the connections that I gained at those events have been valuable.
Unfortunately, many organizations have seen shrinking budgets. This, combined with the difficulty in getting away from the office, has made it difficult to send employees to conferences. The result is missed networking opportunities and training.
Up until now, webinars were the answer to providing training opportunities on a budget. While webinars do provide training through a glorified PowerPoint slide deck, the learning experience is lacking, the distraction level is high and the social interactions found at an in-person conference is missing.
The Virtual Reality Conference
There has been a recent explosion in the interest of Virtual Reality (VR). Applications from training to medical, to education. Over the last year, there has been a rise in the social applications of VR and more recently the enterprise and education use of VR.
VR can bridge the gap between in-person conferences and webinars – providing an immersive learning experience with social interactions. The financial and geographic barriers for organizations to participate in valuable training opportunities are removed with VR.
Doghead Simulations has created a VR enterprise collaboration platform called Rumii. This platform allows for people from around the world to collaborate and for presenters to interact and share lectures in an interactive way.
Merging Realities – A VR First
On April 26, Lethbridge College and the VR/AR Association are partnering to present the world’s first VR/AR conference, held completely in VR. The goal of the event is to raise the awareness of the potential of VR/AR. Participants and presenters will interact with each other in VR. If you don’t have a VR headset, don’t worry, the event will be live-streamed.
The event is powered by the Rumii VR application and will set the stage for future conferences being held in VR.
The event starts out with two amazing keynote presenters; Alan Smithson and Alex Katzen.
Alan is the CEO and Co-founder of MetaVRse and one of the top 100 most influential VR/AR people in the world. Alex is a content specialist on the Google Daydream business development team, supporting the ecosystem.
The event concludes with an in-person VR mixer at Lethbridge College where participants can see the VR and 360-video work done by Lethbridge College’s School of Media & Design.
For more information on the event and to register, visit: www.lethbridgecollege.ca/mr
Check back on this page frequently for updates and additions.
We’ve seen a tremendous amount of disruptive change coming from the Virtual and Augmented Reality Industry. These few years are the first steps towards a prosperous future. It is surely certain that this kind of content will accelerate based on future trends.
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