We are thrilled to announce an expanded lineup of keynote speakers for our upcoming Vision VR/AR Summit 2016, held February 10-11 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. In addition acclaimed designer and storyteller Alex McDowell, the event will feature keynotes from industry luminaries Palmer Luckey, Founder of Oculus; Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality at Google; Dr. Richard Marks, Director of the PlayStation Magic Lab, Sony Computer Entertainment; Dr. Jeff Norris, Mission Operations Innovation Lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; John Riccitiello, CEO, and Joachim Ante, CTO of Unity Technologies. The event will also feature a special address from Gabe Newell of Valve!
In case you aren’t familiar, the Vision VR/AR Summit will gather innovators in the tech, business, and consumer industries for two days of sessions, networking events, and breakout sessions designed for all skill levels. At the event, attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the latest technologies and best practices, and demo today’s most creative and inspiring projects, many of which will be recognized in the Vision VR/AR awards show (full list of finalists for the Vision VR/AR Awards can be found here). Vision also includes participation from the leading VR/AR technologies & platforms in the industry, such as PlayStation VR, Steam VR and Oculus, as well as an introduction to Windows Holographic from the Microsoft HoloLens team. Attendees will have the opportunity to demo new and award-winning experiences in the VR/AR Showcase, with four rooms of expertly curated content from around the globe. The list of Showcase participants can be found here.
About Palmer Luckey, Founder, Oculus Palmer Luckey is the founder of Oculus and designer of Rift. Palmer is also known for having the world's largest collection of VR headsets and founding the ModRetro Forums. Oculus builds virtual reality technology that allows you to enter a completely immersive environment, like a game, movie scene, or exotic destination. Oculus Rift, and the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR, provide the most powerful and immersive VR experiences available. Founded in 2012, Oculus began a Kickstarter campaign that raised $2.4 million in the first month and was later acquired by Facebook in 2014. www.oculus.com.
According to Palmer in a recent Reddit AMA, "I started out my life as a console gamer, but ascended in 2005 when I was 13 years old by upgrading an ancient HP desktop my grandma gave me. I built my first rig in 2007 using going-out-of-business-sale parts from CompUSA, going on to spend most of my free time gaming, running a fairly popular forum, and hacking hardware. I started experimenting with VR in 2009 as part of an attempt to leapfrog existing monitor technology and build the ultimate gaming rig. As time went on, I realized that VR was actually technologically feasible as a consumer product, not just a one-off garage prototype, and that it was almost certainly the future of gaming. In 2012, I founded Oculus” Last month, the company launched pre-orders for the Oculus Rift, which will ship starting March 28.
About Gabe Newell, Valve Gabe held a number of positions in the Systems, Applications, and Advanced Technology divisions during his 13 years at Microsoft. His responsibilities included running program management for the first two releases of Windows, starting the company's multimedia division, and leading efforts on the Information Highway PC. Then he started Valve. His most significant contribution to Half-Life, the company’s debut title, was his statement: "C'mon, people, you can't show the player a really big bomb and not let them blow it up."
About Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality at Google Clay joined Google in 2005 and has been involved with a number of projects across the company, including Search, AdWords, and AdMob. Since 2012, he has led product management and design for some of Google's most popular applications, such as Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive. Clay was one of the creators of Google Cardboard and has led the growth of Google's VR projects. Clay grew up in Los Altos, California, and created his first VR project at the age of 11, when he used HyperCard and hundreds of scanned photographs to create a virtual version of his parents' house. Clay holds a B.S.E. in Computer Science from Princeton University.
About Dr. Richard Marks, Director of the PlayStation Magic Lab, Sony Computer Entertainment Richard Marks directs the PlayStation Magic Lab in Sony Computer Entertainment, which focuses on using technology to explore new interactive experiences. He studied avionics at the MIT before getting his PhD at Stanford in the Aerospace Robotics Lab. Marks joined PlayStation R&D in 1999 to investigate the use of live video input for gaming. He is credited as the creator of the EyeToy and PlayStation Eye cameras. He led the development of PlayStation Move and contributed to the design of the PlayStation 4 camera and DualShock4. Most recently, he has been involved with PlayStation VR, PlayStation’s soon-to-be-released virtual reality system.
About Dr. Jeff Norris, Mission Operations Innovation Lead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Dr. Jeff Norris leads mission operations innovation at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, creating tools that are revolutionizing the control of robots and spacecraft. He founded and leads the JPL Ops Lab as well as multiple industry partnerships applying virtual and augmented reality to space exploration. His team is currently developing VR/AR tools for controlling the Curiosity Mars Rover, accelerating the activities of astronauts on the space station, and improving human-robot interaction. Previously, Jeff managed mission planning and execution for JPL and was responsible for the software, people, and processes that command fifteen robotic spacecraft throughout the solar system. Earlier, Jeff led the development of mission control tools for the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Mars Rover missions and served as tactical activity planner in mission control. Jeff is the recipient of the NASA Software of the Year Award, NASA’s highest honor for a software project, and the Lew Allen Award for Excellence, JPL’s top award for a young researcher.
About John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity Technologies Since joining Unity as CEO in 2014, John Riccitiello has been a driving force in the successful launch of Unity 5 – the company’s next-generation multiplatform engine and development tools. Previously serving as CEO of Electronic Arts, John played a critical role in the company’s transformation into a mobile, online, and digital gaming leader, with subsequent revenue growth exceeding $1.6 billion during that time. John is also an active private investor, serving on Unity’s board since 2013 as well as Syntertainment, Telltale Games, and a few other higher-ed and non-profit boards. In addition, he was an investor and advisor to Oculus.
About Joachim Ante, CTO, Unity Technologies Joachim Ante currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Unity Technologies, and helped co-found the company in 2002. Ante initially began writing the core of Unity as a teenager, and today the engine is in the hands of more than 4.5 million registered developers. As Unity's chief technology officer and co-founder, Ante has brought pro-level game tools to the masses, and is playing a major role in the renaissance of independent games.
Additional Summit details can be found on the event website: www.visionsummit2016.com.