What you need to hear at SVVR 2017

Silicon Valley Virtual Reality (SVVR) 2017 will be taking place from March 29 to 31, and SVVR has been releasing some the dates, times, and panel locations for the 3-day-long event. We’re excited to be there, show off the OSSIC X, and get to be back up in the South Bay Area for a few days.

SVVR is one of the biggest conferences devoted to virtual reality (VR), and people come from all over the world and all verticals to gather in San Jose, California to see the latest innovations, as well as network with VR professionals and top brands in the VR space. The conference was started by co-founders, Karl Krantz and Nana Usui, in 2013.  

“We’ve focused on creating an event where the industry can talk about the future but also have practical discussions and demonstrations of VR’s impact on business strategies today,” said Usui. “From start-ups with big ideas to major brands looking to be more relevant, SVVR focuses on building connections and sharing VR innovations that drive change in the near term.”

While there might not be a ton of audio-specific talks, there is still plenty for anyone interested in augmented and virtual reality. Here are some of the top 10 events we're going to check out:

1. AR/VR 101: Training for the VR Revolution

Speakers: Vasanth Mohan and Hassan Karaouni, both from FusedVR
Date and time: March 29 at 1:30 to 1:50 p.m.

Want to get started in VR/AR? Struggling with how to get serious about content creation? Or, just looking to understand the endless jargon (asynchronous timewarp, anyone)? Join the FusedVR team for a walk-through of how to jumpstart your VR/AR career. We’ll also discuss how to build your perfect team, our learnings from creating 50+ prototypes, and why now is a great time to get started from any background! All questions are welcome and encouraged! - SVVR

2. Workshop: 360 Video in Unity

Speaker: Suzanne Leibrick, Udacity
Date and time: March 29 at 3:00 to 3:50 p.m.  

With the release of Unity 5.6, using video inside unity will be easier than ever. This workshop will show a few different ways to utilize Unity to add interactivity to 360 videos or stills. - SVVR

3. The Truth about Your Assets: A Crash Course in 3D Art for Virtual Reality

Speakers: Jazmin Cano, High Fidelity and Suzanne Leibrick, Udacity
Date and time: March 31 at 3:00 to 3:50 p.m.

While many of the lessons in 3D modeling, animation, texturing, materials, and rendering apply for virtual and augmented reality applications, navigating and discussing the different areas of the asset creation pipeline can be a challenge. - SVVR

In this workshop, we'll cover important topics related to designing and creating low-poly count 3D models, creating textures and materials that keep immersive apps performant, rigging and animations for user-controlled avatars, and how to bring your art together to create engaging, beautiful, and high-performance worlds for HMD technologies. - SVVR

4. Getting Roomscale Right: A Hands-on Workshop

Speakers: Dario Laverde, HTC and Alex Sink, Angle Technologies
Date and time: March 30 at 2:00 to 2:50 p.m.

With Unity and a couple of plugins you can now easily get started and complete a prototype VR room scale experience very quickly even under an hour as this workshop will demonstrate (and even without having to code). But you'll also need to learn to avoid common pitfalls and focus on how to make a room scale experience stand out and avoid breaking presence. Go beyond the initial VR wow factor and avoid the mistakes that many room scale (and even popular) experiences make. - SVVR

5. From Mock-up to Medium: Why VR is Doing Better Than We Think

Speaker: Stephanie Llamas, SuperData Research
Date and time: March 29  at 11:30 - 11:50 a.m.

After a seemingly lackluster year of high costs and low returns, the virtual reality industry has been dismissed as an overhyped novelty in 2016. However, as with any medium, growth comes gradually after the disappointment of unmet and unwarranted expectations. Despite lagging consumer adoption, growing innovation will lead the industry to earn just under $40 billion by 2020. Understand why and what opportunities 2017 will bring as SuperData’s head of VR strategy, Stephanie Llamas, presents the latest industry and consumer research from the leading provider of market intelligence on games, VR and interactive media. Attendees will walk away with hard data including worldwide VR revenue by platform, year-over-year comparisons and sales projections, as well as insights on what will drive consumer adoption, and the industry at large, going forward. - SVVR

6. Building Cinematic VR Experiences (Presented by Unity Technologies)

Speakers: Sarah Stumbo and Mark Schoennagel both from Unity
Date and time: March 31 at 3:00 to 3:50 p.m.

How do you tell stories in virtual reality? Powering one of the largest creative communities in the world, Unity is also now the leading engine for VR development. Join us to learn more about the tools and techniques VR pioneers are using, as well as our new Timeline tool -- and the exciting opportunity that real-time rendering offers storytellers. - SVVR

7. Setting the Stage for Immersive Theater VR

Speaker: Raul Rubio (Tequila Works)
Date and time: March 29 at 3:30 to 3:50 p.m.

8. PANEL: Improving the Human Condition through Virtual Reality: An Open Discussion

Moderator: Michael Aratow, VRecover
Panelists: Noah Robinson, Vanderbilt University, Sunbin Song, National Institutes of Health, Chris Chin, HTC Vive, and Walter Greenleaf, Stanford University
Date and time: March 29 at 4:00 to 4:50 p.m.

Virtual reality enables people to be immersed in carefully controlled computer-generated environments. This panel will involve an open discussion of how these environments can be used to improve the human condition across physical health, psychology, research and education. How can deep learning be used to analyze behavioral profiles and adapt environments in real time? Can we use social VR to enhance motivation and reward self-improvement through validation from others? What concepts from gamification will drive motivation to engage in physical rehabilitation? How will standardized environments change our ability to standardize interventions? What are the issues for bringing VR into real world clinical practice? - SVVR

9. Cinematic Bjork Experience

Speaker: Arvid Niklasson, Analog Studio
Date and time: March 29 at 4:30. to 4:50 p.m.

Analog have created a technically ambitious virtual reality experience for Björk’s track Notget, from her 2015 album Vulnicura. It forms part of Björk’s ongoing exploration of the creative potential of VR in the context of music and performance. Notget VR places the audience within the world of Vulnicura, allowing viewers to experience an emotive personal connection with the music, and with Björk herself. Within a dark, towering landscape, the viewer encounters Björk in avatar form, her appearance fragmenting and regenerating as she undergoes a metamorphosis throughout the performance. VR enables the viewer to explore the environment during the performance, as mist, motes and entities fill the space around Björk; the behaviour of these elements is determined by the viewer’s actions and responses to the piece. - SVVR

10. Panel: To Spatialize or Not to Spatialize: Audio in VR

Moderator: Linda Gedemer, Source Sound VR
Panelists: Sally Kellaway, OSSIC, Chanel Summers, Syndicate 17, Sarah Stevenson, REVRIE Immersive Works, and Richard Ludlow, Hexany Audio
Date and time: March 30 at 4:00 to 4:50 p.m.

Our very own Sally Kellaway will be on board this amazing panel talk on spatializing VR. Definitely worth checking out. Full description below:

Audio is a ‘medium’ that is invisible, weightless, untouchable, and yet is one of the most immersive paradigms that is used across VR/AR/MR technologies and verticals. Sound recordings instantly transport people, they can give you synesthesia-like experiences of memories of times long past. Despite this vast immersive and emotive power, audio is often relegated to the “we can do it last” or “that’s easy” categories and hence the vast power and benefit of audio in our new immersive technologies is forfeited. In this panel session, experts across VR Game Development, Experience development, VR Music and VR Audio Hardware will unpack the benefit of audio to your VR/AR/MR experiences and some creative workflow and ideation approaches that will help even non-audio-savvy professionals from any vertical make use of Audio to deepen their experience.

11. Keynote: Day 2

Panelists: Kent Bye, Voices of VR, Tony Parisi, Unity TechnologiesNonny de la Peña, Emblematic Group,
Date and Time: March 30, 10-11 a.m.


We're not sure yet what this one will be about, but based on the speaker lineup alone it's probably one you should not miss. In case you missed it, you can catch Kent Bye's conversation with OSSIC CEO Jason Riggs here.

While we can’t account for every single event at SVVR, we can tell you for sure these our some of our top picks! If you see anyone in some OSSIC swag, make sure you stop and say Hi! 

Photo Credit: SVVR