ITA's 'Immersed' Conference Returns October 2016, Bigger Than Ever (Updated)

The Immersive Technology Alliance (ITA), the host of the Immersed and Immersed Europe VR/AR conferences, is taking on an ambitious vision for Immersed 2016, which takes place October 16 through 18 in Toronto, Canada.

The ITA started the Immersed Conference in 2014 as a small gathering of professionals from the virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D technology industries. The event is primarily meant to be about networking and education, but it also includes a technology showcase that is open to the public.


Last fall, the Immersed Conference took place in a rented section on the upper floor of the Ontario Science Center in Toronto, Canada. This year, thanks to the enthusiasm of the center’s CEO, the public space will be magnitudes larger. The Science Center will provide up to 20,000 square feet of showcase space for immersive technology demonstrations. Neil Schneider, Executive Director of the ITA, plans to fill that entire space with immersive technology demonstrations and educational experiences.

Last year at Immersed 2015, Schneider managed to squeeze two HTC Vive demonstrations, Starbreeze with its StarVR HMD, a PSVR demonstration, and a dozen other exhibits showcasing in-development games, 360-degree cameras and other immersive technologies, along with the actual conference, all into a 4,000 square foot space. The ITA includes a number of high-profile technology companies such as AMD, Starbreeze, Crytek, Basemark and Futuremark, so there’s bound to be some interesting booths at the show.

Schneider said that the immersive technology exhibition will be open to the public on Sunday, October 16. On Monday, the ITA would like to have students attend the exhibition through school field trips.

Update, 8:30am PT, August 11, 2016: Neil Schneider reached out and informed us that the public exhibition has been extended through Tuesday. There will still be school trips, but the public is still welcome to visit on those days. "We are expecting over 8,000 consumer attendees for this over the three days," said Schneider.

Professional Conference

The Immersed Conference is taking on a larger public presence, but it is still sticking to its roots of being a networking and educational event for industry professionals. Guests of the conference will be treated to three days of seminars and panel discussions with technology makers, content creators, investors and media partners.

Immersed 2016 already has over a dozen speakers lined up, including Dr. Jon Peddie, CEO of Jon Peddie Research; Ryan M. McCall, Director of Business Operations and Sales at Futuremark; and Dr. Jason Jerald, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant of NextGen Interactions. The ITA also announced that Ajay Fry, co-host of InnerSpace on Space Channel, will be among the panel moderators.

The ITA said that it will be announcing additional speakers regularly and has an open call for industry professional interested in speaking. If you’d like to be considered, send an email to with a bio of yourself and a synopsis of the subject you wish to discuss.

Tom’s Hardware is a media sponsor of Immersed 2016. Look forward to more coverage as we lead up and during the event.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.