Spring into event season: Part 1 - March

Spring is a time of new beginnings. Many plants begin to grow, flowers blossom, and the world comes out of winter hibernation. Yet it goes beyond a season and includes ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. In the tech scene, it is also the blossom of a busy conference season. Let's take a look at some of the 'flowers' that attracted this tech bee the past few months. We start with March.

Game Developer Conference - San Francisco, USA
The Game Developers Conference or GDC is THE event for those in the gaming industry and related technologies. As an attendee, I saw plenty of virtual reality on the expo floor. Over the past few years it has been amazing to see how companies like Unity, Google, and Facebook have increased the size of their presence at GDC.

VR Gaming Summit - San Francisco, USA

Following GDC was the VR Gaming Summit. The VR Gaming Summit is a conference focused on VR gaming and entertainment trends. I was an invited speaker and had a great panel discussion with folks from THX, IBM, and an early stage VC firm. The one day event was packed with speakers covering topics including VR/AR trends, good UI/UX design, and virtual reality in sports. A tidbit I found interesting from the event was the audience's response to a question I asked them. I called for a show of hands of how many in the audience have seen content that was so compelling they would go out and spend $800, or less, on a VR setup. Only one person raised his hand which says a lot for a room full of people that spent $900 on a ticket for a one day event on VR.

DX3 - Toronto, Canada
DX3 is Canada's leading technology, digital marketing, and retail event. The event brought Canada's finest to share the latest in these domains with an interactive VR lab section and Samsung had a fun VR skiing simulator that was quite the hit.

AEC Hackathon Seattle - Seattle, USA

The Seattle AEC Hackathon community kicked off their 3rd event. Check out the AEC Hackathon Youtube channel for the videos of the team presentations and interviews with attendees like this one with Greg Howes, the local team lead.

SVVR - San Jose, USA

Most in the virtual reality space know of or have attended SVVR (Silicon Valley Virtual Reality). While attendance seemed lighter than usual (VR events are starting to cannibalize one another and it is showing) the event brought a variety of VR developers, designers, and enthusiasts to San Jose for a full schedule of all things immersive tech.

What made this SVVR a little more special than usual for me was that I got to moderate a panel on WebVR with my friends Tony Parisi (Unity), Amber Roy (Oculus), Michael Blix (Samsung), and Hugh Seaton (Aquinas). This happened on my birthday so it was a special geek present indeed! *when the video of the presentation is available I will post it here.

AEC Hackathon Munich - Munich, Germany

To follow up on my birthday celebrations the AEC Hackathon had its first event in Germany. While I was unable to make it, I still got to kick things off via a Skype call to the group and receive a very lovely 'Happy Birthday' song sung to me by the attendees. Here is a nice write-up on the event from my buddy Kean Walmsley and the video below shows a project one team worked on using a Kuka robot!

March was a great month, and now to April...


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