2019 Speakers

Andrew Liddell

Talk Information:

The future of VR training
Insight into how Animmersion have been using VR and immersive technologies to provide invaluable training scenarios for clients in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.




Lead Interactive Designer at Animmersion

Animmersion delivers digital services direct from our UK based studio with our team of experienced designers, artists and software engineers, providing all clients with access to the technical and creative skills they need. We have a design led approach and seek to exploit pre-existing digital assets wherever possible to generate the best results possible within defined budgets.

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Andrew Liddell
Lead Interactive Designer

Richard England

Talk Information:

Making Jurassic World VR Expedition

Richard is the founder of Leeds-based software consultancy Reflex Arc. He makes inspirational and educational experiences using immersive technologies such as virtual reality. His recent work includes the Jurassic World VR Expedition experience, developed with The Virtual Reality Company for Dave & Buster’s and Universal.

He’ll be talking about the challenges of creating location-based VR experiences such as Jurassic World VR Expedition.




Founder at Reflex Arc.

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Richard England
Founder

David Weir-McCall

Talk Information:

The VR Revolution - Designing for Digital Environments

In an ever changing field, we are going to explore the use of VR in Architectural Design. Here we will talk about how CallisonRTKL have implemented Virtual Reality into the design process and how it has helped make faster more informed design decisions; from small intricate architectural details to the largest Urban Planning projects in the world.




Senior Designer at CallisonRTKL

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David Weir-McCall
Senior Designer

Felix Holst

Talk Information:

Game to Garage... how VR and California Hot Rod culture is driving Industry 4.0




Co Founder and Chief Product Officer at Hackrod

Felix Holst is Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Hackrod Inc, a California digital industrial start up with the mission of democratizing vehicle design and bringing vehicle customization to the masses. Prior to his role at Hackrod Felix served as Vice President of Creative for the mattel toys Wheels division. (Hot Wheels, Matchbox)

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK in ’72 Felix fell in love with car culture and motorsports at a very early age and pursued a career in vehicle design throughout his childhood, eventually graduating with a BA Hons degree in Design for Industry in ’96 from Northumbria University. A temp position with Hot Wheels UK started him off on a path that would relocate him, after a 5 year stint in the UK music industry, to California and a career at Mattel that would place him firmly in the center of global car culture, the aftermarket industry and vehicle innovation.

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Felix Holst
Co Founder and Chief Product Officer

Tom Beardsmore

Talk Information:

Launching on Oculus Quest

Tom will talk about Coatsink's work on a launch title for Oculus's new 6DOF standalone HMD, the Quest




CEO at Coatsink

Tom co-founded Coatsink in 2009, initially focusing on games for mobile platforms before pivoting to mobile-VR. Since then, Coatsink has released 5 VR games and seen tremendous growth with a staff approaching 70 people.

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Tom Beardsmore
CEO

Dr. Kamila Irvine, PhD

Talk Information:

Do we need to use virtual reality to investigate body image?

In her talk she will cover some of my PhD work, my research focused on perceptual and attitudinal components of body image. I have carried out two studies with the use of Virtual Reality. One study compared body size estimation technique as carried out traditionally in 2D and in VR, both with a personalised and standardised avatars. I also used VR in an intervention technique, designed to improve perceptions of body size in women with high body image concerns (a risk factor for development of eating disorders).
I will share our methods, findings and conclusions as well as our suggestions on what the next step in using VR in this area of psychology could be.




Demonstrator, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences at Northumbria University

Kamila Irvine works at the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University. In her PhD she investigated the perceptual and attitudinal components of body image – important factors in the onset and maintenance of eating disorders. She used VR to research the perceptual component of body image and body size estimation. In her work, she compared performance on size estimation using traditional psychophysical paradigms presented in 2D and VR. As part of her work, Kamila carried out a study aimed to improve judgements of body size in women with high body shape concerns.

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Dr. Kamila Irvine, PhD
Demonstrator, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences

Ben Widdowson

Talk Information:

How automotive designers are blending digital, physical and virtual workflows to design tomorrow's vehicles.

Ben has a background in design engineering and 3D visualisation and understands the importance of finding the right solution for the job. Having worked in the visualisation sector for five years, and with a degree in industrial design, he is particularly interested in seeing how design workflows are changing to adapt to emerging immersive technologies.




Sales and Marketing Director at Lightwork Design Ltd

Visualisation experts Lightworks (acquired by Siemens PLM Software) are the developers of Slipstream, which can automatically prepare your 3D data for multi-player design reviews.

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Ben Widdowson
Sales and Marketing Director

Oliver Kibblewhite

Talk Information:

The Road To Blockbuster VR

VR is not the death of TV and film. It’s a separate, stand-alone medium that will add more choice and variety for consumers in the world of entertainment. Storytellers are no longer limited to the constraints of film; stories can come to life in a new, immersive way.

Oliver Kibblewhite, Head of Special Projects at REWIND, will discuss why the visceral experiences that VR provides are an exciting development for the film and TV industries and take the audience through REWIND's VR work with partners like HBO, Sky, and Paramount.




Head of Special Projects at Rewind

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Oliver Kibblewhite
Head of Special Projects

Jed Ashforth

Talk Information:

Jed is the co-founder of Specialist VR Consultancy Realised Realities. Formerly the Immersive Experience Specialist at PlayStation VR, Jed spends every day exploring new virtual realities, defining the best practices and processes for creating in this incredible new medium, and advising our clients and their developers on how to build the greatest, most innovative and most robust user experiences for VR, AR and MR.




Co Founder at Realised Realities

Supporting our clients to successfully Realise the true potential of their Virtual Realities

Developing a Virtual Reality experience can present a wide range of new opportunities and challenges for businesses and developers. The medium is so new and unexplored that it can sometimes be hard to find someone with the answers. Realised Realities is a specialist Consultancy business with unparalleled expertise in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Immersive Technologies. We provide world-class guidance and support, enabling our clients to succeed in the VR space and supporting them to realise the true potential of their virtual realities.

Website
Jed Ashforth
Co Founder

2017 Speakers

Oliver Kibblewhite

Talk Information:

The Road To Blockbuster VR

VR is not the death of TV and film. It’s a separate, stand-alone medium that will add more choice and variety for consumers in the world of entertainment. Storytellers are no longer limited to the constraints of film; stories can come to life in a new, immersive way.

Oliver Kibblewhite, Head of Special Projects at REWIND, will discuss why the visceral experiences that VR provides are an exciting development for the film and TV industries and take the audience through REWIND's VR work with partners like HBO, Sky, and Paramount.




Head of Special Projects at Rewind

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Oliver Kibblewhite
Head of Special Projects

Chris Freeman

Talk Information:

Chris will be facilitating the Manufacturing workshop where he will be looking at how immersive tech is impacting this sector and where immersive tech and save companies time and money.

I am theme lead for Digital Manufacturing and technical fellow for Augmented Reality (AR) at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre's (AMRC) Factory 2050. My work focuses on the medium to high TRL (Technology Readiness Level) development and integration of AR, Virtual Reality (VR) and wearable technology in respect of MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul), assembly and digitally connected environments. With a master’s degree in design & manufacture, I specialise in the area of advanced visualisation, focusing on VR & AR. I have a wide range of experience demonstrating applications for aerospace, construction, civil nuclear, automotive and military sectors. As part of Factory 2050 I lead an exceptionally talented team delivering AMRC Factory 2050’s Digital Manufacturing capability, incorporating Manufacturing Informatics and Digitally Assisted Assembly. Tasked with driving vertical and horizontal innovation in emerging technologies, my current activities include developing the AMRC digital manufacturing strategy, managing large programmes of work, building consortiums for collaboration, and identifying funding opportunities in the applied use of AR / VR and IoT technologies.




Lead for Digital Manufacturing and AR at AMRC

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Chris Freeman
Lead for Digital Manufacturing and AR

Antonia Koop

Talk Information:

Training Workshop: 'VR Powered Experiential Learning - Rocket Fuel for Training and Education'

Take aways: understanding the power of VR to deliver high impact trainings, understand the questions you need to ask to identify the value and power of VR for your training programs but also understand the constraints, the uses and limitations for its application in learning and development in a variety of domains (hard skills, soft skills, the concrete technical learning versus how VR can change our thinking and behaviour), sharing of experiences and visions for the future of VR in training and education.

ANTONIA KOOP, Managing Director of Kite Rider-Strategic Adventures Ltd (aka corncutter.games) and Strategic Nudge Ltd
Antonia leads a team of thought leaders and practitioners from the worlds of neuroscience, cognitive and socio-emotional development and professional education, which together with the companies' games development team convert this expertise into high-impact experiential learning adventures. Using cutting-edge games technology including VR and AR the companies provide training for senior executives in a wide range of private and public sector organisations.

Antonia has a rich and varied background in war journalism, professional training, academic lecturing, research and as founder and former CEO of a multinational organization providing training and support for journalists in war zones




Managing Director at Kite Rider

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Antonia Koop
Managing Director

Jed Ashforth

Talk Information:

Jed is the co-founder of Specialist VR Consultancy Realised Realities. Formerly the Immersive Experience Specialist at PlayStation VR, Jed spends every day exploring new virtual realities, defining the best practices and processes for creating in this incredible new medium, and advising our clients and their developers on how to build the greatest, most innovative and most robust user experiences for VR, AR and MR.




Co Founder at Realised Realities

Supporting our clients to successfully Realise the true potential of their Virtual Realities

Developing a Virtual Reality experience can present a wide range of new opportunities and challenges for businesses and developers. The medium is so new and unexplored that it can sometimes be hard to find someone with the answers. Realised Realities is a specialist Consultancy business with unparalleled expertise in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Immersive Technologies. We provide world-class guidance and support, enabling our clients to succeed in the VR space and supporting them to realise the true potential of their virtual realities.

Website
Jed Ashforth
Co Founder

Aldis Sipolins

Talk Information:

Enhancing Human Performance with VR and Machine Learning

Abstract (subject to change based on on new research)
Virtual reality tricks your brain into believing you're somewhere real. This is the power of Presence, and it's going to revolutionize human research. An IBM Research experiment had participants complete a memory game in VR while wearing an EEG brain sensing headband. Using machine learning techniques, researchers were able to successfully predict memory based on brain activity. In other words, we can predict whether or not you will remember something based on what your brain was doing when you saw it.

Aldis is a VR evangelist and lifelong videogame nerd whose work combines virtual reality, cognitive neuroscience, and game design. Aldis received a Ph.D. in Visual Cognition and Human Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015, specializing in neuroenhancement. His current work at IBM Research uses machine learning, sensors, 3d printing, and robotics to enhance performance and learning in VR/AR.




Head of Virtual Reality and Game Design at IBM Research New York

IBM Research is one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs, with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. We play the long game, investing now in tomorrow's breakthroughs. Watson, the world's first cognitive system, is the fruit of over 50 years of IBM research in artificial intelligence. Today, it forms a core part of IBM's business.

Website
Aldis Sipolins
Head of Virtual Reality and Game Design

Nick Whiting

Talk Information:

"The Road to Robo Recall and Beyond"

He'll take a look at what they learned about players, technology, physiology, and psychology through creating Robo Recall, and how those lessons are shaping how they think about what they're working on next.

Nick Whiting is currently overseeing the development of the award-winning Unreal Engine 4's virtual and augmented reality efforts, including shipping the recent "Robo Recall", “Bullet Train,” "Thief in the Shadows," "Showdown," and "Couch Knights" VR titles.  Previously, he has helped shipped titles in the blockbuster "Gears of War" series, including "Gears of War 3" and "Gears of War: Judgment."  He is also currently serving as the chair of the Khronos OpenXR initiative, working to create a standard for VR and AR platforms and applications.




Technical Director of VR and AR at Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games. Today Epic is building Paragon, Fortnite, SPYJiNX, BattleBreakers, RoboRecall and the new Unreal Tournament. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, VR and the Web.

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Nick Whiting
Technical Director of VR and AR

Thor Gunnarsson

Talk Information:

Surfing Peaks, Surviving Troughs: Navigating Through VR´s Hype Cycle

From building and scaling Everest VR, the team at Sólfar gained a few hard-won lessons for any startup creating VR games and experiences in the middle of a classic Hype Cycle. What did we learn about the technical, design and business challenges of early VR? And how do we climb the slope of enlightenment together?

From his involvement with the first wave of Virtual Reality in San Francisco to the advent of mobile gaming at BAFTA award-winning Ideaworks3D in London, and throughout his 7 years of service as VP Business Development at CCP, Thor has specialized in forging business opportunity in the adjacent possible between creative developers and disruptive technologies.




Co-Founder / Business Development Director at Sólfar

Founded in Reykjavík, Iceland in October 2014 by three game industry veterans, our mission is to create and publish pure VR games that thrill players, define the medium, and establish Sólfar as the category leader in virtual reality entertainment.

We are currently developing multiple projects across all major VR platforms, including PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Website
Thor Gunnarsson
Co-Founder / Business Development Director