The return of HTC’s annual Vive Ecosystem Conference later this month aims to be held, for the first time, in VR, spurred in part by the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.
Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin confirmed the news today on Twitter. The conference will be held on the Engage platform on March 18, starting at 5:30 pm Pacific. Developed by Titanic VR creator Immersive VR Education, Engage is a social platform designed for education and training, allowing speakers to host workshops and talks. It can be used both in and out of VR.
#V2EC: As industry events are being cancelled WW, we’ll hold the world’s first fully #virtual industry #conference in #VR! 3/19 via #Engage. Access in 6DoF VR or live stream on 🖥💻📱. Top speakers+amazing conf experience!🦄 Zero carbon🌏, zero travel🛫& no 😷 needed! @htcvive pic.twitter.com/OqLOVB6QwJ
— Alvin Wang Graylin (汪丛青) (@AGraylin) March 6, 2020
For the past few years the Vive Ecosystem Conference has been held in China. Typically the company reveals new features and hardware at the show, though most of the announcements are directed at the Chinese VR market first and foremost. There’s also panels and networking opportunities, which are expected to feature in this virtual version too.
Speaking to Upload, Graylin said that HTC had been considering a virtual conference already, but the outbreak of the coronavirus — which lead to the cancellation of events like MWC and GDC with more likely to follow — spurred the company on.
Many details about the conference are still to be announced, but Graylin confirmed it will feature audio tracks for both English and Chinese languages and will also be live streamed on YouTube. The real question, though, is if the event can be pulled off smoothly. HTC hasn’t mentioned anything about caps on virtual attendance so we’re not sure how many people could join a keynote speech, for example.