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2015 Speakers List

Phil Chen, Chief Content Officer

Phil Chen is a technology explorer and serial entrepreneur. As head of HTC’s business and corporate development, Phil has led investments into KKBox (#1 music service in Asia), Soundhound, Magnet and the acquisition of Beats electronics. Most recently, Phil founded VR at HTC and is pioneering a VR fund called Presence capital to catalyze the VR/AR industry. Prior to HTC, Phil was VP of Product for the first patented dual-screen E-Ink to LCD Alex eReader, which was later licensed to the first Barnes & Noble Nook. He also founded the Glo Bible, an award winning interactive media Bible that presents scripture in 3D virtual explorations with contextual visuals. Before his corporate endeavors, Phil built schools and orphanages in places like Afghanistan, Africa, and China and also worked as a research assistant at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Phil holds a B.A and B.S in Pure Mathematics and Physics from UCSD, and an M.Div from Fuller Seminary. His biggest return is from his role as father of Miles & Naomi.

Dr. Richard Marks, Director, PlayStation Magic Lab
Sony Computer Entertainment

PlayStation Magic Lab focuses on using technology to explore new interactive experiences. Richard studied avionics at MIT before getting his PhD at Stanford in the Aerospace Robotics Lab. Marks has worked at PlayStation since 1999 when he joined Sony Computer Entertainment R&D 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 Project Morpheus, PlayStation’s virtual reality technology.

Sasa Marinkovic, Head of VR Marketing
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Sasa is responsible for evangelizing LiquidVR technology and AMD’s award winning Catalyst software. Sasa has held a number of global marketing positions including Product and Technology marketing and was responsible for the launch of AMD’s industry shifting GPUs, CPUs and APUs. His opinions have been published globally in media outlets such as the BBC, Wired, Forbes, TechCrunch, Engadget, eWeek, InformationWeek, VentureBeat and SlashGear to mention a few and has presented at conferences including CES, Computex, CeBit Europe, Cannes Film Festival, and IFA.

Sasa holds a number of patents among which is PowerXpress, a technology used in majority of today’s laptops. Sasa came to AMD via the acquisition of ATI in October 2006. He joined ATI Technologies in 1996, after graduating from the University of Toronto where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Sasa resides in Toronto, Canada.

Andrew McGovern, VP, Media and Entertainment

Andrew McGovern’s involvement with interactive video dates back to 2006 when he was brought on board as one of the original six Google Street View drivers at Immersive Media. After completing his degree in Economics at the University of British Columbia, Andrew became heavily involved in the interactive video market and has played an integral role in managing key projects and accounts in Media and Entertainment at IM360.

Steven Antturi, Head of Post Production

An award winning editor, Steven has worked in all aspects of Broadcast TV in Europe and North America for last 24 years with a focus on post production. In recent years, he has been involved in creating immersive 360 videos such as the Black Eyed Peas’ single “Time of my Life/Dirty Bit”, the commercial “Dolce Vita” for the French energy giant Gaz de France, as well as Intel Ultrabook’s “12 Cities, 12 Collaborations” immersive video projects, among others. Most recently he was involved in creating 360 video content for the Samsung Gear VR.

Lucas Cochran, Tech Correspondent
Daily Planet, Discovery Channel Canada

Born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, Lucas Cochran has had an interest in technology since tearing apart his first motherboard. As the tech correspondent for Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet, Lucas regularly goes to extremes to test the tech. Everything from seeing how canine units are using biotech as an embedded member of a SWAT team, to jumping out of a perfectly good airplane to test medical-grade wearable technology. Lucas’ love for all things digital spills over into his off-air hobby of mixing electronic music and the rare times he goes offline, he can be found exploring Toronto on his BMX.

Resh Sidhu, Creative Director for the VR Studio

Resh uses creative direction, storytelling and conceptual ideation to help lead the growing VR team in creating groundbreaking work for clients.

Resh joined Framestore from AKQA in London where, as Creative Director, she led a multi-disciplinary team across a wide client base, producing work for the likes of Xbox, Nivea, Kraft Mondelez and Nissan. Her work has received industry-wide recognition, with recent wins at the Campaign Big Awards, BIMAs, Design Week, and IAB Creative Showcase.

Having started her career in the gaming industry, Resh moved swiftly into the digital arena as opportunities arose to integrate digital design with online experiences.

Resh is also the author of Virtual-Realms blog, a community centered on developing creative potential in virtual reality.

Tim Dashwood, Founder
11 Motion Pictures Limited
Dashwood Cinema Solutions

An accomplished director/cinematographer and stereographer, Dashwood’s diverse range of credits include music videos, commercials, documentaries and feature films, as well as S3D productions for 3net, DirectTV, Discovery Channel and the National Film Board of Canada. He also specializes in the previsualization of live action fight/stunt scenes for large-scale productions such as Kick-Ass, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Pacific Rim. Recent
credits include the films Air Knob, Bob, The Killer, Darknet and Academy Award Winner Chris Landreth’s Subconscious Password.

Tim’s latest development is 360VR Toolbox, a set of software tools to aid in cinematic 360˚ virtual reality post production.

Dario Laverde, Senior Developer Evangelist

Dario is a senior developer evangelist at HTC. He has 20+ years experience in software development for mobile, embedded, Web and enterprise. Among his various professional roles, he has worked as an Android instructor, consultant, Java architect, author and entrepreneur. Dario leads NYC-GDG, NYCJava JUG, and co-organizes the New York Android Developers meetup. Recent conference talks include Android, IoT and VR, specifically promoting room scale VR development with Unity and additional tools with step by step tutorials.

James Stewart, Founder
Geneva Film Company

Geneva Film Co. was founded by commercial director James Stewart to produce his work in live action, VFX, stop-motion and CG animation on platforms ranging from mobile to giant screen including gesture control and VR. His award-winning stop-motion 3D short film FOXED! has screened at over 90 film festivals, winning multiple awards and opened at #1 on iTunes in October 2014. Stewart’s recent projects include 3D cinema commercials for Samsung, Toyota, Lexus, Sprint, and the 3D concert film Experience Montreux.

His work on Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams was awarded the Lumière Award for Best 3D Documentary and in 2012, he produced the world’s first gesture-controlled 3D cinema game for Samsung. Stewart was recently featured with Ang Lee on the cover of the Directors issue of SHOOT magazine. He is a six-time speaker at Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. At TED2011 he presented the TEDTalk Storytelling in the Next Dimension.

Martin Lord, Business Development Manager
Sector Manager, ICT and Digital Media
Ontario Centres of Excellence

Martin manages program delivery and consults with entrepreneurs. His interests are wireless communications, cybersecurity, multimedia technologies, human-machine interfaces, and connected vehicles. He has been spearheading multidisciplinary industry-academic collaborations, resulting in consortia such as 3DFLIC, iGO3D, and NEXT.

Martin has worked for small and large companies and his career spans over 25 years in R&D and international business development of technology. Martin holds an M. A. Sc. from the University of British Columbia and a B. Eng. (Honours) from McGill University, both in electrical engineering.

Voltolina Guido, Head of Presence Capture
Nokia Technologies

Originally from Milan, Italy, Guido is currently Head of Presence Capture at Nokia Technologies, the division that recently announced the OZO camera. A veteran in display technologies Guido previously worked at Dolby Laboratories where he led the Dolby 3D / Philips joint project and developed the Dolby video strategy. Prior to Dolby, Guido held senior leadership and global marketing positions at Xpand, Intel Capital, Royal Philips Electronics and InFocus.

Alex Davies, Writer
Tom’s Hardware

As a writer, Alex covers Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mobile Devices for Tom’s Hardware, one of the oldest (since 1996) and largest enthusiast technology news and reviews websites on the web. Prior to writing for Tom’s, Alex has contributed to various other technology news websites such as Mobile Syrup and IT Business Canada.

As a long time computer gaming enthusiast (he built his first gaming PC in 1991) and science fiction fan, he has long dreamed of being able to enter the Metaverse. It wasn’t until he used modern HMDs that he really understood the immense trans-formative potential of this new technology.

As a film fan and former film student, Alex also understands how these new technologies will forever change the way stories are told, and he is hoping he can play a part in helping talented creatives understand and work in this new medium.

Kharis O’Connell, CEO & Co-Founder

HUMAN is a Vancouver, BC-based product foundry that focuses on body-worn computing and VR / AR. Kharis has over 15 years of international work in designing and crafting thoughtful products and services that try to focus on and explore ‘what comes next’. Prior to starting HUMAN, Kharis was Head of Design at Global Mechanic in Vancouver, where he worked on a multitude of VR-related projects, and previous to that was UX Lead at Nokia Design, a Creative Concepter at Samsung. Kharis has independently consulted with a multitude of consumer electronics companies across the globe. Outside of working at HUMAN, Kharis serves as adviser to Commandwear, a wearables-focused security solution, and is an official startup mentor at Wearable World SF.

Arto Ruotsalainen, Co-Founder & VP Operations

Arto runs the operations at Basemark and is also the most senior technical expert, often seen juggling multiple facets of their business simultaneously. Arto started programming when he was 9 years old, studied Computer Science and Project Management at Tieturi, then finally started getting paid as a programmer in 2005 for Indiepath. He then made a name for himself at Hybrid Graphics and at NVIDIA by taking graphics driver development to new heights. After multiple hands-on and management roles at Futuremark and Rightware, he moved naturally into the position of running and building Basemark’s team globally. Arto has an incredible worldwide network, and if you don’t know him, he probably knows you! His passion for technology is incendiary, helping propel Basemark’s place in today’s growing 3D world.

J. Lee, Co-Founder
1188 Games

J. Lee is a multi-award winning director with a strong working background in Post Visual Effects, Animation and Immersive Storytelling. 1188 Films is one of Canada’s top Commercial Film Production companies that creates compelling multi-platform experiences for brands and artists such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Disney, Puma, MTV, Red bull, MuchMusic, Drake, LMFAO and Steve Aoki to name a few.

J. Lee has worked heavily with Virtual Reality and 360-degree Stereoscopic Filmmaking. He directed the award-winning Body/Mind/Change, a CFC Media Lab and Tiff co-production starring David Cronenberg. The Virtual Reality extension for the Oculus Rift gained the momentum that sparked the creation of a new company named Occupied VR.

Occupied VR was formed in 2014, J. Lee and four of his closest creative partners have been working hard to understand and develop their own high-level brand of experiences using Virtual Reality and other Immersive Technologies. Their most recent project Graffiti VR is a 360degree stereoscopic time-lapse showing four of Toronto’s top graffiti artists painting their pieces before your eyes on invisible acrylic panels. Developed with Globacore for launch at IDF in San Francisco, the video was used to showcase the new INDE app developed by INTEL.

Professor Michael Page,
PI PHASE Lab (Prototype Holographics for Art and Science Exploration)
OCAD University/ Institute for Optical Sciences, University of Toronto

Michael Page has been kicking out the boundaries of holographic technology since the 70’s. His holographic artworks have been exhibited around the world. His current federal and provincially sponsored research includes haptic holography (holograms you can touch), holograms and mobile devices, holographic scanners, holograms of electrical activity in the human brain, and holograms of CAT, PET, CT and Confocal Microscopy data.

Jose Luis Navarro, CEO, InMediaStudio

Based in Madrid, InMediaStudio is a full service company that specializes in developing tailor made immersive solutions for clients from multiple sectors. They have over two years of experience developing innovative projects in Spain and worldwide where they apply a combination of VR, AR and Motion Capture Technologies. They are also experts in the production of 360 degree video. Their most recent projects include virtual reality experiences that are tied in with the films Mission Impossible 5 and Tomorrowland.

Dylan Pearce, Filmmaker

Dylan, has recently wrapped production on his first 3D feature film 40 Below and Falling (2014), which has been sold world-wide, starring Jewel Staite and Shawn Roberts. Dylan’s previous feature film, the romantic comedy entitled I Think I Do, garnered a Canadian Screen Award (the Canadian Emmy) nomination for its lead performer Mia Kirshner.

Dylan’s first feature film Baby Blues (2008) opened number one in per screen average in North America. The film won best picture at Moving Images in Toronto and is still airing on Canada’s Super Channel. Dylan went on to direct the feature horror film Texas Road (2009) and followed it with the feature film, Whatever It Was (2010), an adaptation of a stage play written by Christopher Lawrence-Menard, one of Canada’s top playwrights. I Think I Do (2012) starring Mia Kirshner and Sara Canning has been sold worldwide and is still airing in North America on W Network (Canada) and on Lifetime Movie Network (U.S.).

Expanding into the 3D realm, Dylan then directed The Babysitter 3D (2013). The film is playing the festival circuit and has been picked up for distribution in 3D. Dylan is prepping his next 3D feature film entitled Iron Dogs, written by Neil Chase and working on two VR short films.

Ricardo Laganaro, Director
O2 Filmes

O2 Filmes is the largest production company in Brazil and its owner is none other than Fernando Meirelles, the Oscar Academy Award nominated Director of City of God, Blindness, and The Constant Gardener.

O2 Filmes is creating unique immersive content for the Museum of Tomorrow, a new type of science museum that is being built in Rio de Janeiro and is being launched shortly after Immersed 2015. The Museum of Tomorrow, with the help of audiovisual, interactive and game presentations, will take the public through an examination of the past, and by extrapolating current trends, it will highlight possible outcomes over the next fifty years.

Ana Serrano, Chief Digital Officer, CFC Lab Founder
The Canadian Film Center (CFC)

Serrano is driving the digital transformation of the CFC into a unique blend of talent, product and company accelerator and creative production house. Most recently, she launched Canada’s first digital entertainment accelerator ideaBOOST with founding partners Shaw Media, Corus Entertainment, and Google. To date, Serrano has directed the development of over 130 digital media projects, mentored over 50 start-ups, and has received numerous awards from the digital media, film, and theatre industries in both Canada and the U.S., including a DigiAward for Visionary of the Year, a Best Canadian Feature Film Award from the International Reel Asian Film Festival for her own transmedia production Prison Dancer: the Musical, and a Jim Blackaby Ingenuity Award for Body/Mind/Change. She is an adjunct professor at OCADu, an Executive Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS) which presents the Webbys, and frequently speaks at digital media and film festivals around the world about the creation and business of digital entertainment.

Gord Harris, Senior Program Manager
Christie Digital

Gord works in Christie’s Research and Innovation group as a physicist focusing on simulation and visualization displays. Recent work includes concept and design of the SV1 simulator, the Deployable Immersive Simulator, the DualView display, the EGG 3D system and the Collimated 3D display. These are all forms of immersive displays. Previously he worked as a freelance R&D consultant for four years after 24 years at IMAX as an engineering generalist in the science of mechanical, optical and electronic displays.

Sean Peasgood, President and CEO
Sophic Capital

Sophic Capital is a capital markets advisory/IR firm for public and private technology companies. Prior to founding Sophic Capital, Mr. Peasgood was a sell-side technology analyst for eight years with bank-owned dealers and boutique investment banks in Canada. After his successful career on the sell-side where his clients raised in excess of $500 million, he started Sophic Capital to leverage his technological and capital markets strategy expertise to help grow several of Canada’s next big technology companies.

Mr. Peasgood leads a team that generates investor awareness for Sophic Capital’s clients, writes industry research, and implements financing strategies that lower cost of capital and maximize shareholder value. Over the past year, Sophic Capital has demonstrated expertise within several disruptive, emerging technology industries that include: virtual reality, augmented reality, education technology, financial technology, anti-counterfeiting technologies, areal and underwater drones and 3D printing.

Jan Nordmann, Senior Director Business Development, New Media
Fraunhofer USA Digital Media Technologies Division

A VR enthusiast, Jan is in charge of partner relations and product strategy for the online media industry. His responsibilities at Fraunhofer include market development, product marketing and licensing for perceptual audio codecs, and related technologies such as audio processing and streaming. In the VR space, Jan oversees the market introduction of audio products for 3D audio capture, transmission and rendering which include Cingo, the mobile audio processing suite used in Google Nexus and Samsung Gear VR devices (, and MPEG-H Audio, the next generation system for interactive and immersive sound (

Jan also represents Fraunhofer in various industry organizations such as the UHD Alliance, UHD Forum, DECE and DASH-IF.

Fraunhofer is well known as an influential developer of the MP3 and MPEG AAC codecs. MP3 is the primary digital audio technology used in most portable audio devices.

Dr. Jon Peddie, CEO, Jon Peddie Research

Dr. Jon Peddie, CEO
Jon Peddie Research

Dr. Jon Peddie is one of the pioneers of the graphics industry, and formed Jon Peddie Research (JPR) to provide customer intimate consulting and market forecasting services. Peddie lectures at numerous conferences on topics pertaining to graphics technology and the emerging trends in digital media technology. Recently named one of the most influential analysts, he regularly advises investors in the GLG network, he is frequently quoted in trade and business publications, was the former president of Siggraph Pioneers, and he is also the author or co-author of eleven books his most recent, The History of Visual Magic in Computers. Dr. Jon Peddie was recently honored by the CAD Society with a lifetime achievement award.

Bernie Roehl, Software Developer
University of Waterloo

Bernie has been working in the field of VR since the 1990’s. He co-developed the world’s first open-source VR software library (REND386), and was active in the development of the VRML specification and the Virtual Humans specification (which became part of MPEG-4). He subsequently worked on an early Virtual Desktop application with a company called 3DNA and developed a VR programme for the University of New Brunswick Miramichi. He has also authored or co-authored several books on VR and written numerous technical articles.

He is based at the University of Waterloo, and has most recently developed VR applications for various clients including a custom experience for Lindt Chocolates involving the Oculus Rift. He is currently focused on social VR application development.

Srinivas Krishna, CEO
AWE Company Ltd.

Srinivas is currently launching one of the world’s largest augmented and virtual reality experiences at the nine acre Fort York National Historic Site in downtown Toronto.  His work as a digital media innovator has been applauded by Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, as “utterly breathtaking… genius.”  Srinivas founded AWE Company Ltd. in 2012, and it has rapidly grown to become a leading developer and provider of advanced mobile augmented and virtual reality software and professional services.  Prior to AWE, Krishna has produced and sold feature films that have premiered at Toronto, Sundance and Cannes, and have been distributed worldwide. He launched his career in 1991 with the international hit Masala, which was voted by the British Film Institute among the Top Ten South Asian Diaspora Films of the 20th Century and is a classic of world cinema.

Ben Miller, Director of Content Development, WEVR

Ben has been building and designing interactive applications and games for a decade. His career spans a variety of platforms (pc/mac, web, mobile, console) and mediums (videogames, VR, narrative, installation).

He is an interactive polymath who has professional experience as an engineer, designer, animator, 3D artist and producer throughout his professional career. He has worked as an independent developer, at large AAA game studios, and has been working in a startup organization for the past four years.

He has been developing VR experiences full-time for over a year on a number of different platforms (Vive, Gear VR, Cardboard, etc.).

WEVR is engineering an open VR software platform to enable the next generation of storytelling on VR devices.

Guillaume Gouraud, SVP Business Development StarVR project,
Starbreeze Studios

Survival Horror specialist having held positions ranging from Art Director, Game Designer and Creative director on titles such as Alone in The Dark, Cold Fear and I Am Alive during his 14 years as Darkworks co-founder. At Darkworks he also worked on releasing the first cross-platform Stereoscopic 3D SDK for 3DTVs on PS3 and Xbox360 adopted by titles such as Batman™: Arkham City, Assassins Creed® III, and Gears of War 3.

Guillaume joined Infiniteye in 2014 and was a driving force in the team that joined Starbreeze Studios. He is part of the core developers group for Project StarVR and oversees game developer relations for the company’s VR initiatives. He is happy to continue working in the survival horror genre with Overkill’s The Walking Dead VR experience.

Josh Farkas, CEO, Cubicle Ninjas

Josh Farkas has illustrated thirteen children’s books, designed for over 50 of the Fortune 500, and helped found (and sell) a few start-ups along the way. Today he leads Cubicle Ninjas, a fast-growing marketing firm with strong commitments to virtual reality and unique virtual reality campaigns.  Cubicle Ninjas is a creative agency that is pioneering how brands tell their unique stories through custom virtual reality applications.  Well recognized clients have included the likes of Google, AutoTrader, Rutgers, Discover and more.

Dr. Jason Jerald, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant
NextGen Interactions

Dr. Jerald has been creating 3D computer graphics and next-generation computer interfaces for over 20 years. Jason has held various technical and leadership positions and currently serves on multiple conference committees and advisory boards. His work has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank and the Discovery Channel, in the New York Times, and on the cover of the MIT Press Journal Presence: Teleoperators and Telepresence. He has worked with various organizations including Fortune 500 companies (General Motors, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin), research institutions (NASA Ames, Argonne National Labs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories), game companies (Valve, Oculus VR, Sixense Entertainment), and startups (e.g., Virtuix, CI Dynamics, Spot On Performance). Jason’s book ‘Perceptual and Interaction Design for Virtual Reality’ was a top seller at SIGGRAPH 2015 and will be available in wide release shortly.

Mary Spio, President & Founder
Next Galaxy Corp.

Mary Spio is best known for creating and holding patents on the technology used for the digital distribution of movies over satellite and for demographically targeted distribution of digital media. The technology was commercialized via Boeing Digital Cinema for the release of movies such as Star Wars Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones.

Mary is an avid 3D enthusiast and loves all things immersive. As the founder of CEEK – a fully immersive social entertainment and educational hub for VR and CEEKARS a first of its kind virtual reality audio headphone, she aims to build the gateway to the virtual web or the metaverse as well as the next generation of educational tools leveraging VR.

Spio’s companies have created content solutions and or technology for global titans including Microsoft XBOX, Coca Cola Company, Tribune News Company (Parent of LA Times, Chicago Times etc), Emmis Communications, Billboard Awards, Lincoln-Ford and scores of iconic celebrities, retailers, radio station groups and much more.

An accomplished author, Mary Spio is a contributor to the New York Times Bestselling Series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Mary Spio is the author of the novel A Song for Carmine and the Author of It’s Not Rocket Science – 7 Game-Changing Traits for Achieving Uncommon Success (Penguin Books, Winter 2014).