The CONNECT University Information Session on "Interactive Technologies – Virtual and Augmented Reality", that took place on 1st of February 2018, represented an opportunity to discuss with industry leaders and experts about the future of human-computer interaction in the wake of the new wave of interactive technologies.
In recent years, major players in the tech industry have rushed to secure a share of this emerging market, esteemed to reach a value of €40 billion by 2025.
The launch of Pokemon'go in 2016 and of Oculus Rift soon after, both contributed to opening the consumer market and spreading Virtual Reality headsets as a common entertainment tool. Just a few months later, Microsoft secured its spot in the race by launching the Microsoft HoloLens development kit and Apple did the same by integrating VR features in the new iPhones it presented at the end of 2017.
The session aims therefore to examine how such novel human-computer interactions will impact EU citizens in their daily life. It will introduce the audience to the current state of the art, the field of applications beyond entertainment, and the future research needed in order to fully develop such market.
Four main experts in the field will lead the discussion while trying to answer the following question:
How will Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality affect the future of human computer interaction and the next generation of the internet?
We highly encourage you to read the newly published Ecorys VR report.
The four speakers will be:
James Hairston is the Head of Public Policy at Oculus and leads Facebook's global policy work on virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Before joining Facebook, James was a Policy Advisor at the Small Business Administration, served on President Obama 's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, and was part of the economic policy team at the Center for American Progress. James holds a JD from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.
Dominic Eskofier is a Virtual Reality advocate and enthusiast and has been called “the single most influential European Virtual Reality specialist". As one of the early pioneers of the modern VR movement, Dominic has been involved in the industry ever since Oculus founder Palmer Luckey showed him the original duct-taped prototype of the Oculus Rift back in 2012. He co-founded and still moderates the largest community for Virtual Reality on the internet, he started the Virtual Reality Germany meetup group and is a co-founder of EUVR – a European non-profit organization that helps push the envelope for European VR devs, manufacturers and consumers. Furthermore, he co-founded his own Virtual Reality company - realities.io - together with two VR experts which they successfully brought through an accelerator program in Silicon Valley.
Didier Stricker is Professor in computer science at the University of Kaiserslautern and Scientific Director at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH) in Kaiserslautern, where he leads the research department "Augmented Vision”.
Laurent Chrétien spent 5 years immersed in the emerging ecosystem of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR-AR), and became a specialist in the new uses of these technologies. He is in charge of the entire Laval cluster dedicated to VR and AR and actively participates in the economic development of the territory. He is leading the international Laval Virtual exhibition, world leader in its specialty with more than 240 exhibitors and 18,000 visitors in 2017. He also runs the French Tech label for the national thematic network #VirtualTech.