It has been a little more than two weeks since Oculus Connect 2 shut down and the remaining developers and enthusiasts gathered in the lobby of the Loews hotel to say their goodbyes. The conference itself was filled with tons of awesome news, a $99 consumer GearVR, Minecraft and Netflix for VR, the emergence of a social SDK, and much more.
But perhaps even more than the big announcements, Oculus Connect 2 was about the community. It was about bringing together the innovators and pioneers who are helping to shape this young industry. That communal atmosphere was absolutely electric at the event, there was absolutely no escaping it. From morning breakfast meetings to wild nights at the Ohm and ‘The VR beach house,’ to the general hustle and bustle of the event’s main lobby, the flow of conversation and ideas never ceased. It was a room where everyone seemed to know everyone, even if they had never met before. One of the most common phrases I heard walking around was “it’s nice to put a face to a username.” Oculus Connect 2 was the moment that everything became real.
“These are the good old days,” said Michael Abrash, Oculus’ Chief Scientist, in his keynote. It certainly felt that way at the show. It was the perfect storm, where passion met innovation on the bleeding edge of technology and you left with the impression that something significant had just occurred.
In an effort to preserve this moment we worked with the team at Videostitch, a company focused on stitching software for 360 video, to capture some scenes from the show in an immersive format so that anyone could relive, or even live for the first time, some of what Connect had to offer. Due to various policies we were unable to capture certain things such as the keynotes or other talks, but I have included them here for posterity.
Ivan Sutherland’s powerful speech at the 2015 Proto Awards
Brendan Iribe, Mark Zuckerberg and Palmer Luckey’s opening keynote
Michael Abrash’s illuminating discussion on the future of VR
John Carmack being John Carmack and giving an awesome extemporaneous talk that could have gone on until he lost his voice:
Carmack completely unfiltered