Update, 10/16/2017, 11:40am PT: Added information about the location.
The Immersive Technology Alliance is gearing up for its annual technology conference. Immersed 2017 kicks off on October 19 and runs through October 21 at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto. The schedule for the first two days of the conference are filled with presentations and discussion panels; day three features a free public exhibition with a variety of demos to try.
Tom’s Hardware attended the past three Immersed conferences, and each year the event is bigger and better. Immersed 2017 is open to the public for one day, but the professional side of the conference is the main attraction. This year's lineup is filled with representatives from some of the biggest players in the immersive technology industry.
The Immersive Technology Alliance put together a compelling lineup of speakers including three keynote speakers: Frank Soqui, General Manager of VR at Intel; Buzz Hays, Head of Product at Lytro; and David Parker, an IoT consultant who helped a Mt. Sinai Hospital conduct a VR palliative care trial, will each take the stage for 45 minutes to talk about their areas of expertise.
The event also includes presentations from a handful of notable industry professionals. Dr. Jon Peddie, of Jon Peddie Research, will make a presentation called “Augmented Reality, Where we Will all Live.” (Capitalization theirs.) John Cutter from IBM Augmented Reality will talk about “AI in Virtual Reality.” And Neil Trevett, President of the Khronos Group and VP of Mobile Ecosystem at Nvidia, will discuss “Impending Standards in Immersive Technology.”
Neil Schneider, Director of the ITA, said that he prioritized finding guests who could shed light on the current state of the VR industry. In past events, the ITA brought in presenters who could speak to the future, but with the technology readily available, Schneider said he wanted to emphasize what’s possible today to inspire more people to get involved now.
The schedule for Immersed 2017 also includes a couple of group panel discussions. The Futurists Panel, hosted by Space Channel’s Ajay Fry, will wrap up the first day of discussions. The Futurists Panel includes Soqui (Intel); Hays (Lytro); Habib Sargarpour, a visual effects supervisor who helped with "Blade Runner 2049" and the upcoming "Ready Player One" films; and Tricia Dugan, VP of Go-to-Market Immersive Computing at HP.
Tom’s Hardware will host the second panel, and this writer will be there to moderate the discussion. Soqui and Trevett (Nvidia, Khronos) will join the panel. As will Kevin Chang, a prototype tester at Google’s Daydream Labs, and Frank Vitz, Creative Director of Immersive Technology for the Radeon Technology Group. Together we’ll discuss what it takes to make VR and AR hardware and software that performs well and is viable for the consumer market.
The full presentation schedule is available on the ITA website.
The first two days of Immersed 2017 are strictly for conference attendees, but day three is open to the public. Immersed 2017’s public exhibition runs from 10am to 5pm ET on October 21 and includes a variety of demos to experience.
Intel is bringing two VR gaming stations and two enterprise VR demos, a company called Motion Shadow will be on site demonstrating its new body tracking technology, HumanEyes will have VUZE cameras to show off, and Escape VR plans to run a mobile demo of its location-based entertainment setup.
Pimax will also be at Immersed 2017 with prototypes of its upcoming 8K VR headset to show off. The company will be on site for the private session days, but Schneider couldn’t confirm whether or not Pimax would show the headset to the public.
If you’re interested in participating in this year’s Immersed conference, tickets are available through Eventbrite.com. The early bird tickets are already sold out, but Tom’s Hardware readers can get a $100 discount for a Full Registration ticket. The ITA also offers discounts for full-time students who can verify their registration in an academic institution. The ITA is not charging admission to access the public demo area on Saturday.