Nordic & Baltic Perspectives on Virtual Reality: Current Status and Emerging Applications

Nordic & Baltic Perspectives on Virtual Reality: Current Status and Emerging Applications

Reed SmithLLP (map)

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The Nordics/Baltics have gained growing attention in recent years as the region has seen an explosion of startups, successful exits (including growing number of ‘unicorns’), early-adoption of technologies, high standard of living, and strong and innovative educational systems. All of this is fueling new opportunities for entrepreneurs and enterprises that see Virtual Reality (and Augmented Reality), i.e. VR and AR, as increasingly interesting technologies with growing number of potential applications in industry and education.

This Silicon Vikings session will give you a current update on some of the latest things happening on the VR/AR front in the Nordics & Baltics, both in terms of current projects as well as what we may see in the near future as companies and consumers gain familiarity with VR/AR, and as prices of devices (including VR headsets) come down and the volume and quality of VR content improves. The event will host a visiting delegation of Norwegian business executives who are members of Open Innovation Lab (OIL) in Oslo, led by Truls Berg, Managing Partner of Digital Insight and Founding Leader of OIL.

We will start by hearing from a company, One Reality AB, that was launched last year in Sweden, and focusing its “operating footprint” around the Oresund region, but with plans to expand both across the Nordics and in the SF Bay Area. Sheridan Tatsuno, Co-Founder of One Reality, and a SF resident who spends much time in the Nordics, will share some of the entrepreneurial story of One Reality and its vision for using VR for urban planning and for examining issues around smart, sustainable cities.

Per Olav Nyborg, CEO of VR Education (a Norwegian VR startup), one of the OIL delegates, will share some of the lessons learned so far in Norway, especially in the Hamar/Hedemark region which is now becoming a Center of Excellence around the use of VR in education, including for teaching mathematics. A major US player in VR, EON Reality (from Los Angeles) has set up its European HQ in Hamar, and is now working with Norwegian VR start-ups, as well as with municipal and county officials to create world-class expertise and technology around VR in education and in other application areas.

One or two other VR experts may join the session, and issues, developments and questions that may be explored, include the followin

  • What do the One Reality and Hamar projects say about VR applications in industry, government, and education in the next few years in the Nordics and beyond?
  • What are some of the other interesting/innovative VR projects that are now emerging in the Nordics, and are we likely to see the Nordics becoming a leading developer and user region for VR (and perhaps AR)?
  • What are the current and emerging conditions in the Nordics, including public/educational policies, which may have significant impact on whether VR will gain a stronghold in the region?
  • What are the members of the Norwegian OIL consortium seeing from their companies in terms of interest and potential use of VR and AR? [Norway’s largest company, Statoil (oil and gas, but expanding rapidly into renewable energy) is one of the companies that have already found very interesting and cost-saving applications from VR technology]
     

 

Come and join in the fun and participate in the interactive discussion at the session. We always set aside plenty of time for Q&A, to allow attendees to interact with the speakers, and also share their own experiences and expertise around VR/AR.

Speakers/Panelists:

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Brian Leckey started his career at the BBC and has over 20 years experience producing and directing for UK and US TV networks.  His experience ranges from producing live events for the BBC to directing Mythbusters for Discovery Channel.  He’s now applying his TV experience to VR/AR and mobile software development. 

In 2017 Brian was hired by Lithuania based Telesoftas one of the largest mobile software developers in Europe. Telesoftas has 14 years experience in mobile app development and is at the cutting edge of VR and AR production. Brian is currently working on an AR app which utilizes revolutionary 3D volumetric video capture technology, which enables a host or actors performance to be captured in 3D and incorporated into an AR experience. 

Telesoftas has over 150 staff software engineers and designers, with offices in Lithuania, Switzerland and California.  Telesoftas was included in Deloitte’s Fast 50 list as one of the fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe in 2017. Telesoftas has completed several VR apps including business collaboration tool Medusa VR and was also chosen to build an AR/MR experience built on Microsoft Hololens to be showcased during the winter Olympics in Korea.

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Sheridan Tatsuno—Co-Founder of One Reality AB. Sheridan’s passions are urban planning, writing (fiction/nonfiction), and VR (virtual reality). He is a Silicon Valley market researcher and breakthrough strategist who has helped raise $10M for 8 startups since 2000 and advised over 700 global tech companies since 1983, including major breakthroughs: Intel into processor (1985), "Intel Inside" (1992), Nokia's global launch (1994), AMD Japan's sales-doubling (1996), and AMD's sub-$1000 PC breakthrough (1997). His book, "In the Valley of Digital Dreams", discusses growing up and working in Silicon Valley's tech industry.

 

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Per Olav Nyborg—CEO of VR Education and also COO of Kommuneforlaget (a large publisher in Norway, and a leading supplier to the Norwegian school system). A graduate of the Norwegian School of Management (BI), Per Olav has worked with digitalization and development of products for over 10 years. In addition to leading VR Education, Per Olav has had a central position at Kommuneforlaget in the creating and development of digital products, in close collaboration with customers and partners, resulting in the development of over 50 applications/solutions for the public sector. VR Education and Kommuneforlaget are working with EON Reality and two Norwegian start-ups companies, Innit AS and Making View AS, to innovate and transform how students learn math in Hamar/Hedemark, and, if all goes well, in other parts of Norway and beyond

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Eilif Trondsen. Eilif—a transplanted Norwegian who has spent his whole professional life in Silicon Valley—has led and participated in a number of syndicated research programs and numerous consulting projects during his 35 years at SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) and Strategic Business Insights (a spin-out from SRI, located on the Menlo Park campus of SRI). Eilif has also been Adjunct Professor of Economics at a number of Bay Area universities. Most of his work has focused on eCommerce, Learning, Innovation, and Virtual Technologies, and in recent years much of his work has focused on the Nordic region, especially Finland and Norway, including projects for Tekes and the Norwegian Research Council, and three projects funded by Nordic Innovation. He was recently the project leader of a new Nordic Innovation project awarded to Silicon Vikings, which will build a Nordic EdTech Network. He has been a Board member of Silicon Vikings for the last 5 years, and have been the Chair of the Special Interest Group on Entrepreneurship and Learning since its beginning.