Several virtual reality meetups in California have joined forces to throw an epic VR conference and expo that will be a day to remember. There will be a wide variety of VR demos, a jam-packed lineup of speakers, and giveways throughout the day.
The location for the event is the beautiful UCI campus centered in the brand new Institute of Innovation building. Additional demos and panels will happen in the ROC center right next door.
Below are the details:
Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015
Address: 5141 California Ave. Irvine, CA 92617
Building 1: Institute for Innovation (The Cove), UCI
Building 2: Research Opportunities Community (ROC), UCI
Time: 1pm – 7pm (VIPs get access to the floor 2 hours early at 11am)
Over 40 exhibitors will show off their work at the event. There will be Virtual Reality games (including multiplayer ones), sports, horror, journalism, webVR, augmented reality, psychedelic experiences, medical scenarios, art installations, and everything in between. Many of the exhibitors are based in Southern California. Others come from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and beyond.
*Additional info about other exhibitors will be blasted out via email and will be added to the website as it gets closer to the event. More surprises are in store!
Gear VR Jam Entries
More than 1000 developers from around the world participated in the Oculus Mobile VR Jam 2015, and several of the entries will be showcased at the event. Some of those demos were sparked from a Gear VR training day in Long Beach a couple weeks before the official start date, where people learned to create mobile virtual reality experiences. Others came out of a Southern California hackathon around the same time as well.
One of the featured entries is “Bazaar” which took home a Silver award and $30,000. Theresa Duringer, a developer on the project, will be demoing at the conference. Players will be able to solve puzzles, match objects to gain clues in the stars, and guide a flying carpet through a vibrant city.
Headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Gear VR tend to attract all the attention in the VR space now, but the future of VR will heavily dwell online. There are a bunch of developers working on the internet-based side of the medium now, and SoCal VR will feature various demos from the web developer community that utilize WebVR – bringing virtual reality into the browser! A couple of those will be shown by Microsoft’s “Virtual & Augmented Reality Evangelist,” Liz Erickson.
An Exclusive Horror Demo – Ol’ Sparky
There will be a special treat for people who like the horror VR genre. It was cooked up by the mad minds of Orange County VR (OCVR) during a virtual reality hackathon they hosted a while back, which has now been transformed into an experience that will literally shock you. Those who purchase VIP tickets will get early access to the RSVP form for this (as well as other exclusive demos). General admission will get their slots shortly after that.
O’l Sparky has been covered by Hackaday and Digital Journal as well as discussed on an Oculus forum in the past. Now, the version 2 is ready to scare the pants off of anyone brave enough to sit in the virtual reality electric chair.
The VR Maker Movement
Virtual Reality spans more than just computer generated experiences. Creatives of all types are starting to integrate hands-on approaches, including one artist code-named Zenka. She brilliantly sculpted the history of VR and will display several items of her art exhibit at the event, which has been featured on Road to VR.
In addition to Zenka’s art, there will be 3D printing exhibits as well. See abstract virtual reality art by Kevin Mack, who interestingly enough has worked with local Venice-based company WEVR before. At his table will be 3D printed objects, and there might even be his Gear VR demo as well. So be sure to check that out!
Feel what it is like to roll through a virtual work in the giant hamster-wheel device called the Virtusphere. This contraption has been covered by Vice Magazine, Road to VR, Engadget, and many other media publications in the past. Now is your chance to try it out! It will be equipped with a Gear VR, which is one of the 1st times the plastic ball has been paired with that mobile headset. It will provide for an exciting, unencumbered experience like nothing before.
Speakers, Speakers, and More Speakers
SoCal VR has an amazing lineup of speakers, moderators, and panelists – which will be held in two rooms. The topics range from mainstream adoption, social VR, out-of-the-home experiences, sports, storytelling, journalism, and even a special nightlife panel.
Featured speakers include Dave Taylor (one of the developers of Doom and Quake), Duncan Trussell (host of the DTFH podcast), Jonnie Ross (co-founder of VRLA), Jim Willson (Director of Immersive Products & VR at Samsung), James Jensen (CTO of The VOID) and Karl Krantz (organizer of SVVR). Our very own Will Mason will be speaking during the Journalism talk as well.
The headlining discussions will be be broadcast live in full 360 degrees, while the side room will be recorded in 360 degrees and uploaded soon after.
Room 1: The Cove – 360 broadcast by VRLive.tv
1) VIP Panel: Bringing VR to the Mainstream – moderated by Jonnie Ross
2) Immersive Gaming Experiences – moderated by Dave Taylor
3) VR for Themeparks, Arcades, Theatres, and Carnivals
4) The Art of Presence: Storytelling in VR – moderated by Duncan Trussell
Room 2: The ROC – recorded in 360 by Vrideo
1) The Future of Journalism – moderated by Matthew Terndrup
2) Building Virtual Worlds (**new**)
3) Portals into the Metaverse: Sports, Concerts, and Social VR – moderated by Bruce Wooden
4) Reaching Mass Markets through Adult Entertainment
Contact Matthew Terndrup if you want to speak on one of the panels – [email protected]
There will be a Space-themed party the night before on July 11. It is organized by VR Fest. The location is at WeLabs in Long Beach, California. There will be virtual reality demos passed around along with drinks as a local DJ plays music.
Date for the party: Sunday, July 11, 2015
Address for the party: 235 E Broadway #800, Long Beach, CA 90802
Time for the party: 8pm – close
Giveaways and Goodie Bags
There will be Next VR sunglasses in each bag. Various t-shirts, stickers, other free stuff will there too. Not to mention, custom Cardboard headsets will be found in there as well, sponsored by the San Deigo Zoo.
There is also a chance that a couple of Gear VR headsets will be raffled off. So, sign up for email updates and follow SoCal VR on Twitter to get the scoop on that.
There will be a wide range of press outlets at the event. One of the exciting names that will be in attendance will be Duncan Trussell, who hosts an edgy podcast online. He has interviewed several VR influencers including Rev Kyle and the Survios guys. Not only will Duncan Trussell be there, but he is also moderating the “Storytelling in VR” panel – which will be an amazing talk that must be seen live!
Practically every Virtual Reality blog and publication out there has come on board as a Media Partner, including us at UploadVR. This includes the bigger names like Road to VR, Voices of VR, Enter VR, and VR Focus. In addition, several up-and-commers like VR Scout, VR Digest, Virtual Reality Reporter, InnerRift, VR Circle, and Yourift will be present at the event as well.
There will also be a couple of non-VR related publications there too. People from Qgits plan to cover the event on the the science and education side of things. Ultraculture, a blog about “consciousness, environment, and futurism” will be scouting out the edges of the conference looking for new topics to write about.
Purchase Your Tickets Now!
This event is guaranteed to sell out, so head over to the Eventbrite page linked above and reserve your tickets while you still can.
A Special Thanks to the Sponsors
The SoCal VR team couldn’t have done it without you!
Want more? Join us the following day on July 13th in Mountain View, California at the Computer History Museum for our VR Demo Day. Meet some of the VR industry’s most successful entrepreneurs and enjoy the day with education, pitches, demos and networking. Tickets are limited, so get those fast! For more details about the VR Demo Day, email Taylor Freeman – [email protected]