Wow! I’m just back from an excellent adventure out on the front lines at Silicon Valley VR Expo (SVVR), and there were an impressive number of “take-aways” besides the swag!


First, there was a very nice series of back-to-back keynotes by Tony Parisi (Unity Technologies), Nonny de la Peña (Emblematic Group), Rikard Steiber (HTC), and Kent Bye (Voices of VR). These are already posted, so you can check them out for yourself.

Beyond that, here are a few other “notes” from the event.

There were a couple of well attended presentations on virtual worlds, now being re-branded as “social VR,” that are “coming soon.” Philip Rosedale’s overview of High Fidelity was particularly compelling.

Scaling VR to 100 and Beyond (Philip Rosedale, High Fidelity)
An Introduction to Sansar (Bjorn Laurin, Linden Lab)

Of course, for those of us that have been around awhile, these platforms aren’t exactly out of the blue, but there appeared to be a surprising number of people in the audience who weren’t aware that things like AltspaceVR and VRChat are the new kids on the block. Talk about déjà vu! It felt just like 2006 all over again. Things are bound to get “interesting” when these old gorillas finally come out and descend upon the VR world in the “near future.”  Here’s a nice article for homework if you are among those that aren’t already familiar with the players in the space. Social VR: Who Is Going to Get It Right First? (Alice Bonasio, Upload VR)

There were a couple of excellent panels about standards that established that both authors and consumers “might” be able to look forward to platform independent tools and content, eventually, but there is still a long road ahead.

WebVR Panel
Moderator: Damon Hernandez (Samsung), Panelists: Amber Roy (Oculus), Tony Parisi (Unity), Hugh Seaton (Aquinas Training), Michael Blix (Samsung)
Khronos OpenXR Panel
Moderator: Kaye Mason (Google) – David Frerichs, Christopher Peri (Samsung), Yuval Boger (Sensics)

Over the course of the event it also became fairly clear that XR has emerged as the much needed general moniker to encompass the AR/MR/VR continuum.

On the horizon…
There were a couple of presentations about potential authoring platforms beyond the current “go-tos” of Unity and Unreal. These aren’t going to be something that takes the VR world by storm this year, but they definitely worth watching in the longer term!

State of Aframe and WebVR: Joining Your Virtual World in Aframe with Multi-User Experiences (Rabimba Karanjai, Mozilla)
Forging a New VRX (Rafael Brown, Digital Myths)

Overall, it was an enlightening experience!

There was one odd thing, though. Why were these little guys climbing my hotel wall?