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Building and Using Immersive Environments—In Business, Entertainment and Education

Come and join us at our August 18 session of Silicon Vikings in San Francisco when we will explore how rapidly evolving Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Worlds (VW) technology tools and platforms are opening up for new and innovative approaches to work, entertainment and education. What are some of the most exciting changes that are emerging on the tech side of VR, AR and VW front, both in Silicon Valley and beyond, and how are these new platforms opening up dramatic new opportunities for startups and larger companies? And what can we expect the timeline for adoption in various domain areas to be—and what price/cost barriers to adoption will exist? Who are on the leading edge of using and developing the new tools and platforms and what are some of the most exciting examples of how these technologies are or can be used to radically change how we work, play and learn?

Our event will complement the event our friends at swissnex will have on August 17 in San Francisco—see http://www.swissnexsanfrancisco.org/event/realvirtuality/—where the VR platform which was developed by the Geneva-based foundation Artanim will be demonstrated and made available for testing by attendees. One of the Artanim founders will join our panel at the Silicon Vikings event.

We have a great panel of experts who will share their insights into the issues raised above and also answer your questions (and we will allow for plenty of time for Q&A in the session, as we always do). Here are the panel members right now, and we may have one or two more joining shortly:

·         Robert Scoble. Robert is the Rackspace Startup Liaison Officer, helping small teams have a huge impact with cloud computing technology. He’s a geek who grew up in Silicon Valley and since 1985 he has been building online communities. Robert travels the globe studying and making media about world changing startups. He has long been a tech enthusiast who has followed VR and other virtual technologies, and is a well-known video blogger, media innovator who is fanatical about startups.

·         Sylvain Chagué. Sylvain Chagué graduated from the engineering school “Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne,” in France, specializing in image processing, computer graphics, 3D animation, and motion capture technologies. His areas of expertise are the use of motion capture data for 3D animation and video games, virtual reality applications, interactive human-computer interfaces, as well as 3D body scanning technologies. He is the co-founder and current Technology Director of Artanim.

·         Damon Hernandez. Damon has been involved in the interactive 3D community for many years, and is a 3D Web, virtual and augmented reality developer and advocate. He is co-founder of the high tech building company IDEAbuilder, advocates 3D Web open standards for the Web3D Consortium, and regularly leads hacking sessions around the world focused on either improving built environment related professions (AEC Hackathon) or developing with immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality.

·         Christopher Peri, Ph.D. Christopher had worked on 3D and VR starting with the VFX1 back in 1995 including teaching a class on VRML. His master thesis at UC Berkeley, 'Spatial Perception in Virtual Environments: Visual Cognition Gain with Head Mounted Displays' focused on how spatial perception and memory are improved using a HMD. This work was a foundation for his Ph.D. in Spatial Communication. His professional work includes creating many virtual worlds using VRML and Java and then employed those skills to dynamic web content using Flash. Later in his career he focused on project management to company leadership including 3 years as CTO at VentureBeat. Currently Christopher has returned to his roots working at Samsung Research Lab working on mobile strategy, tech resourcing, and support on the Gear VR project.

·         Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D. (moderator). Eilif has followed virtual technologies for many years, and led a four-year research program VirtualWorlds@Work, at SRI to examine how VW technologies could find applications in business and work. He is the Chair of Silicon Vikings SIG on Entrepreneurship and Learning, and has done research in the area of learning technologies for about 20 years.