• ReedSmith (map)
  • 101 Second Street
  • San Francisco, CA


During the last three years, Silicon Vikings has hosted very popular sessions that have explored various issues and developments around Virtual and Augmented Reality. We are now very pleased to invite you back for our Fourth Annual AV/VR Review, reconvening our panelists to both look back at what has happened in the past year and draw lessons for what may lie ahead. So please join us again on October, at ReedSmith in San Francisco.

Our three fantastic panelists—Two of whom you will know if you have attended our past AR/VR events—will address these and other questions:

  • What are some of the most interesting and impactful developments we have seen since we met last year?

  • What surprising developments have we seen in the past year, either in the US or overseas?

  • Where—in hardware, software, content, etc—have we seen the most significant progress over the last year, and who are some of the leading players?

  • Have we seen new and interesting players coming onto the scene, and what new and exciting innovations are they focusing on? And how are they different from what major players like Facebook, Google, Samsung, HTC, Microsoft and others are doing?

  • Which are some of your favorite applications of VR based on the developments you have seen over the last year? Will entertainment dominate the AV/VR space or will industrial or educational applications see strong growth and interest?

  • Based on where we are today, and from what predictions we made last year—correctly or incorrectly—what are some of the things we can expect in the year to come, in terms of technology (including headsets), content and services? Will the arrival of 5G have an immediate and significant impact on AR/VR, and if so, where (regionally) will this likely appear first?

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:

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  • Damon Hernandez. Damon—our “Veteran Silicon Vikings panelist” who has been a key panelist from the start of our AR/VR sessions (and has also spoken at other event, including on hackathons)—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. Since November 2016, Damon has been a Product Manager at Samsung Research America.

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  • Linda Jacobson. As the tech industry’s first-ever Virtual Reality Evangelist — from 1995 to 2001, working for Silicon Graphics — Linda Jacobson knows that one day soon, everyone will want to get immersed. She helped establish the global international VR ecosystem, defining product requirements and driving partnerships, early-adopter customer success, and demand-generation across diverse fields. Today Linda enjoys collaborating with innovators on business development and communications, and project-manages VR and AR development for enterprise training and healthcare applications. Linda also serves on the Board of Directors for the Virtual World Society. She is dedicated to finding solutions for problems associated with eldercare and brain fitness. Linda was a co-founding editor of Wired and author of the books Garage Virtual Reality and CyberArts, many business magazine articles, and winning UI patent applications.

  • Nola Donato. Nola is a Senior Principal Engineer and Software Architect at Samsung Research America, leading the development of open source VR and AR graphics software for Samsung. While a researcher at Intel, Nola was driving efforts in global illumination, cloth simulation and virtual fashion. When she worked as Principal Engineer at IMVU, she developed game engine and creator tools for 3D social networking on the web, and as a Chief Architect at Emdigo, she created a web-based content pipeline for producing 3D applications in the mobile environment. She has also developed major components for products like Microsoft Powerpoint, Adobe Photoshop, and SGI Performer.

  • Emily Olman. Emily Olman, CEO and Co-Founder of SpatialFirst, is a reality capture pioneer and entrepreneur. She is dedicated to the VR/AR community in her role as Co-President of the VR/AR Association SF Chapter, advocating and evangelizing VR/AR market acceleration, and hosting regular events with industry leaders and influencers. In 2015 she launched Hopscotch Interactive, a 3D/VR marketing services company for real estate. In 2017, Hopscotch Interactive was nominated as Matterport Service Partner of the Year out of over 2500 companies, the highest award that an MSP can receive. She is a moderator and regular contributor to three influential Facebook Groups including the Official Matterport User Group, Real Estate VR/AR News, and ARVR Women and Allies. She holds an M.B.A. from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business with a Certificate in Global Management, a B.A. from Scripps College in German Studies, and most recently was a FORM+FUND Fellow at Berkeley Law in Spring 2018.

  • Eilif Trondsen, Ph.D. (moderator). Eilif—who spent almost four decades at the SRI (formerly Stanford Research Institute) campus in Menlo Park—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 currently examining how AR/VR may impact Nordic & Baltic education, learning and training. Eilif has been the Chair of Silicon Vikings SIG on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning since its beginning, and has done research in the area of learning technologies for about 20 years. His academic training is in economics