On March 19, HTC VIVE held their fifth annual XR industry conference, but this time with a difference. This event took place entirely in VR, newly stylised as the Virtual VIVE Ecosystem conference, or V²EC 2020. This marks the first industry event that has been entirely replaced with a virtual counterpart. A custom-built location was created just for the event in the ENGAGE platform.
The conference saw host to many well-known experts in the XR industry with China President of HTC, Alvin W. Graylin, Forbes Columnist Charlie Fink, and ‘Grandfather of VR’ Tom Furness among them. Each guest speaker was easily recognizable through their custom avatars which were made specifically for the event through our custom avatar builder. Throughout the conference the speakers shared their insights on the impact that XR would have on the world, and given the current pandemic circumstances, the growth of interest in XR as a medium for collaboration and communication of all kinds. Some of these speeches even brought forward immersive effects (IFX) that would not be possible at a real conference.
“To stay safe these days, we need to create more distance between people, and conversely, one of the biggest benefits of XR is the ability to remove the perception of distance and boundaries for users,” China President of HTC, Alvin W. Graylin said. “Prior to this virus pandemic, the mindset of many people is that XR is a nice-to-have technology. Post-outbreak, the benefits of XR to overcome the physical barriers between people could make it a must-have technology over time. The killer app of XR isn’t a specific game or application like with prior computing technologies, but rather the ability to regain a part of the daily life we lost due to the new reality facing the world today. Working-from-home, distance learning, home-based fitness, immersive entertainment and networked social interactivity will all be part of the new normal in our lives, and made more agreeable if more users could adopt XR technologies.”
The event on a whole highlighted that the VR world is pushing boundaries in many ways. It is pushing the perception of VR. It is pushing the physical boundaries that we are cofnined to due to social-distancing but it will also push the boundaries on the normal day-to-day lives of many.