Immersed mediumImmersed 2018 Speakers List

Dereck Orr,
Division Chief, Public Safety Communications Research Division Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Mr. Orr leads the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program that serves as an objective technical advisor and laboratory to FirstNet, the Department of Homeland Security, and public safety to accelerate the adoption and implementation of the most critical public safety communication standards and technologies. From October 2003 until October 2004, Mr. Orr was detailed to the Department of Homeland Security to serve as the Chief of Staff of the SAFECOM Office within the Science and Technology Directorate, to help establish the new program. Prior to working at NIST, Mr. Orr served as a professional staff member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, and Related Agencies under Senator Fritz Hollings. In that position, Mr. Orr was responsible for the appropriations accounts relating to state and local law enforcement issues. Prior to that, Mr. Orr served four years at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) at the Department of Justice.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST is one of the nation’s oldest physical science laboratories. From the smart electric power grid and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advanced nanomaterials, and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Frank Soqui, Vice President & General Manager, Gaming Division
Intel Corporation
Chair, Computing Technologists Group,
The International Future Computing Association

Frank Soqui currently leads PC gaming and end-to-end cloud gaming, shaping Intel’s business in these growth segments. As a 36-year Intel veteran, he has represented Intel in over 50 high-profile interviews worldwide focusing on Intel’s VR, gaming and eSports efforts. Previous leadership roles include: Technical Compute Cloud and Client General Manager, Workstation Group General Manager, and General Manager in what is known today as IOT with a highly visible presence in live TV interviews, keynotes, and commercials. Frank has held leadership roles Digital Office, Desktop PC and Telecom groups. Transformation, creativity, and growth are his passion.

Daryl Sartain, Director and Worldwide Head of VR, AI/ML, Displays, TV & Music ecosystems
Radeon Technology Group
Advanced Micro Devices
Chair, The Immersive Technology Alliance, The International Future Computing Association

Daryl Sartain has over thirty years of experience in research and development, product development and management for integrated circuits, software development, system design, system engineering, information technology, marketing, and program management. Mr Sartain’s previous roles at AMD included Director of Strategic Business Development for AMD’s Innovative Systems Group and Director of the Desktop Division where he led desktop product business planning and product management in AMD’s Microprocessor Business Unit.

He was responsible for the AMD Athlon™ 64 FX, Athlon™ 64, Athlon™ XP and Sempron™ processors. Mr. Sartain’s career also features top brands like Texas Instruments, ESS Technology Inc., Locale Systems Corporation, Vennworks and Cirrus Logic.

Wanda Meloni, CEO
M2 Insights
Chair, Alliance of Content Creators, The International Future Computing Association

As CEO of M2 Insights Network, Wanda Meloni has become a sought-after international technology and entertainment strategist and has been working with top companies in digital media and entertainment for over 15 years. Focused on emerging technologies, she has a deep understanding of interactive media for content development, platforms/tech/games, community empowerment, customer engagement, and development trends. An avid supporter of diversity in the tech and games industry, Wanda works to support leadership opportunities in technology with a particular focus on women and minorities.

Wanda Meloni was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Open Gaming Alliance which the Alliance of Content Creators originated from.

Ajay Fry, Co-Host
Heads up Daily (HUD), GINX TV

After two successful years as the Saturday morning host for YTV, Ajay blasted off to SPACE where he co-hosted INNERSPACE, numerous specials (E3 and SDCC recaps to name a few), after shows (including After the Black, the official Orphan Black after show), and live events for ten years!

His Hollywood interview experience list includes countless names like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, creators like Neil Gaiman, Robert Munsch, Brian Fuller as well as inspiring innovators like Natalie Panek, Tony Hawk and Commander Chris Hadfield.

Through it all, Ajay never lost his passion for gaming and now finds himself as a regular co-host on HUD (Heads Up Daily) which is broadcast on GINX TV – Canada’s first 24 hour eSports television channel. With stories to tell, Ajay is the Immersed eSports expert and will also be keeping a sharp eye out for future computing developments at the show! You can catch Ajay live streaming at

Josh O’Kane, Reporter
The Globe and Mail

Mr. O’Kane covers technology for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business. He joined the newspaper in 2011, and has written extensively about innovation, small business and music, among many other subjects. His 2016 book, Nowhere With You, is a national bestseller, and examines the music and career of Joel Plaskett through the lens of leaving and staying in Canada’s Maritime provinces. Josh’s longform journalism has been showcased by Harvard’s Nieman Storyboard and Great Canadian Longform. His breaking-news writing has been shortlisted for a Canadian Online Publishing Award, and in 2018 he was part of the Globe team that won the Society of American Business Editors and Writers’ Best in Business Canada Award for breaking news.

Jamie Fleming, CEO
Studio 216

Jamie Fleming is an industry leader with a deep understanding of immersive technology and the (un)/built environment. Through his vision and leadership, Studio 216 has grown to a multinational corporation with over 45 software engineers, technical artists and design creatives. Jamie is a champion of Studio 216’s mission to “Visualize Dreams and Shape the Future.”

Jamie regularly presents and speaks on panels discussing the opportunities of immersive technology to transform the way we engage with the physical world. Through faculty appointments he has taught courses in design, visualization and 3d modeling at the University of Washington and perspective design drawing at Seattle Pacific University.

Jamie holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from Wake Forest University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington.

Briana Brownell, Founder & CEO deploys AI agents into the Enterprise that proactively provide the workforce information they didn’t even know they needed to understand the deeper currents that underlie their most important data streams. Using the leading edge technology in natural language processing, machine learning and neural networks,’s Automated Neural Intelligence Engine (ANIE) gives enterprises insight from data using AI so they can act faster on customer experience trends and emerging issues.

Briana founded Pure Strategy in 2015 after ten years as a data scientist in the marketing research and finance industries and is a frequent keynote speaker on both technical and business topics including AI, data science, and machine learning. She has lead advanced analytical data projects with top tier companies in pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, banking, insurance, utilities, and retail, among many others. Her specialty is in unsupervised learning where she has created methodology used globally by research teams and Fortune 500 companies, most notably methods to apply unsupervised learning methods to longitudinal data so that organizations can accurately track changes in data with minimal data collection costs.

Andrew Schmied, CEO
APS Consulting

Mr. Schmied is a corporate and business development executive who has commercialized visual technologies globally. He formerly led global consumer businesses at Advanced Micro Devices and created new markets for advanced graphics technologies through his relationship building abilities. To benefit his clients, Mr. Schmied has built deals with the likes of Intel, Microsoft, Samsung, NASA, Garmin, Airbus, Dell, Lockheed Martin, Apple and Barco.

Mr. Schmied has pivoted numerous start-ups to viability, raised crucial international venture capital for reputable companies such as Lucidlogix and Adshir, and is focused on accelerating revenue and building valuation by helping teams identify strategic core value and execute alignment with future markets.

Ofer Shai, Director
Omnia AI, Deloitte Canada

As Director of Deloitte’s AI practice, Dr. Shai is leading their IP Factory. Ofer uses the latest in deep learning, machine learning and AI to build products and solutions for Deloitte’s clients, and drive AI strategy and insights in the market. Omnia AI’s IP offerings include solutions designed to help enterprises manage their contracts and re-papering load, media and social-media monitoring to detect and predict strategic risk, AI driven cyber security tooling, health care solutions for improving caregiver and patient experience, and more.

Ofer has 15 years of experience in natural language processing, predictive and advanced analytics, recommendation systems, information retrieval, and computational biology. Ofer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto Machine Learning Group, and has held leadership positions at Upsight, Meta, and Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative.

Rama Krishna Aravind, Founder & Creative Director
Poco Loco Amusements

Mr Aravind has always had a multidimensional approach. Prior to founding Poco Loco Amusements, he explored and accomplished in areas from being a C# Dot Net programmer to being an Assistant Director in India’s biggest blockbuster film “Baahubali -The Beginning” – the highest grossing film in India. He later served as VFX Project Manager for “Baahubali – The Conclusion”.

His love for challenges and ability to understand both creative and technical languages developed, in him, a great passion for creating multidimensional entertainment forms.

As his brain child, Poco Loco Amusements continues to revolutionise the story telling craft by making it an engaging affair. Evolving from mixed reality and artificial intelligence, Poco Loco aims to create hologram interactive X.R. Cinema and other innovative entertainment forms.

David Rolston, CEO

With over 35 years of experience, Dr. Rolston has worked in several engineering roles including developing elements of DARPAnet (the precursor of the internet), serving as VP of engineering for ATI, and being the youngest engineering fellow ever appointed at Honeywell, Inc.

Dr. Rolston is a recognized industry pioneer in Artificial Intelligence and wrote “Principles of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems Development”, one of the first best selling books on AI. He was also a pioneer in 3D graphics and Virtual Reality / Virtual Worlds. He was CEO of a company that produced one of the world’s first full VR systems.

Dr. Rolston has been GM of divisions of TRW, Silicon Graphics, and ATI. The position at TRW was in the government services industry and included developing very-early stage applications for transferring images and video on the internet as well as internet hyperlinking. The Silicon Graphics role involved developing the foundations of 3D graphics with applications in film and games as well as enterprise systems. At ATI Dave was responsible for developing graphics chips for 75% of the world’s laptops as well as for various gaming systems.

In addition to these corporate roles, he has been CEO of five early-stage venture-backed companies. These companies worked in a variety of industries building many different hardware and software products for consumer, government, and enterprise applications.

As CEO of Tirocorp, Dr. Rolston is building a “do anything” intelligent personal assistant that will be based on an AR avatar. He is also chairman of Image Metrics, a company that develops software that is used to automatically animate facial expressions on any type of character.

Joanne-Aśka Popińska, Co-Founder
Tribe of Pan

Ms. Popińska is the Director of The Choice, a VR documentary about reproductive rights which is currently in development. She is the former Artistic Director of the 3D IMAGE Film Festival in Łódź, Poland and is at the forefront of the bleeding edge of cinema and technology.

A Ph.D. student at the Polish National Film School, Joanne-Aśka Popińska immigrated to Canada to pursue filmmaking and activism. With a Master’s Degree in Sociology, Joanne-Aśka dedicates her creative vision to explore the similarities between us homo sapiens and all other life we share this planet with, and that ‘rights’ don’t just end at human rights. She is a recipient of Toronto Arts Foundation “The RBC Arts Access Fund Awards” for the newcomer artists.

Karim Aly, Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer

Galilei is the Open Innovation Company and an affiliate of Concordia University. In partnership with Ubisoft, Galilei recently launched XR:MTL, a collaborative innovation factory for applied XR development. XR:MTL brings together corporations, academia and startups to catalyze and accelerate commercially targeted innovation in XR.

Prior to Galilei, Mr. Aly was the founder and CEO of TaskSpotting; a multi-award winning VC-backed technology start-up that enables businesses to activate the power of micro-influence across digital channels. His earlier venture was a $20m early-stage investment and incubation firm focused on clean technologies across high growth markets.

Mr. Aly previously held several senior roles within the financial services industry including Vice President at the Dubai Sovereign Wealth Fund where he created the portfolio management and strategy team and worked on transactions totalling in excess of USD 3 billion globally. He also served in a project origination and strategic advisory role with ‘The Executive Office of the Ruler of Dubai’, conceptualizing and launching multiple $1b+ mega-projects in the Emirate of Dubai. Mr. Aly began his career in Mergers and Acquisitions with Merrill Lynch in North America.

Avery Rueb, Co-Founder, Educational Sales Director
Affordance Studio

Affordance Studio is a startup founded by design experts and veterans of the video game industry. Its collaborative design approach combines expert learning content into innovative, fun and effective gaming solutions. Integrating games into schools,companies and professional development is not only cutting-edge but also highly effective.

Mr. Rueb is responsible for the educational games and work with school districts. As an educational researcher, he has published multiple articles on game-based learning with funding from organizations like SSHRC. Finally, Avery co-founded and is on the Board of Directors for the Association EDTEQ, a not-for-profit in Quebec which brings together over 60 edtech companies to improve access to educational technology in classrooms province-wide.

Dr. Jason Jerald, CEO
NextGen Interactions

Dr. Jason Jerald is CEO at NextGen Interactions and Adjunct Visiting Professor at Duke Univeristy. Dr. Jerald serves on multiple advisory boards and has been creating VR systems and applications for over 20 years with over 70 VR-related projects across more than 40 organizations including Valve, Oculus, Virtuix, Sixense, MergeVR, AT&T, NASA, General Motors, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, three U.S. national laboratories, and seven universities.

Dr. Jerald’s work has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, on the Discovery Channel, in the New York Times, and on the cover of the MIT Press journal “Presence”. He has held various technical and leadership positions and has served on the ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE Virtual Reality, and IEEE 3D User Interface Committees. He is also the author of numerous publications including the best-selling title “The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality”.

Ted Judge, Vice-President of Marketing
Polar Screens

Ted Judge is an experienced business strategy and marketing executive with over 30 years experience in creating and growing technology companies. He has been responsible for conceptualizing and launching numerous products in assistive technology, multimedia communications and telecom. He has experience in building strong relations with partners and customers around the world.

PolarScreens has been at the forefront of stereoscopic displays since 2003 with leading 3D displays being sold under license for professional and gaming applications. The upcoming release of PolarScreens’ Holographic Display with “Steerable Lightfield Technology”™ will radically change the expectations for desktop computer monitors.

Kevin Williams, Founding Chairman
DNA Association

Kevin Williams has an extensive background in the development and sales of the latest amusement and attraction applications and immersive technologies. The UK born specialist in the pay-to-play scene; is well-known through his consultancy KWP; and as a prolific writer and presenter covering the emergence of the new entertainment market. Kevin has co-authored a book covering the sector called ‘The Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment Frontier’ published by Routledge, and also runs his own news service called The Stinger Report. The DNA Association focuses on the digital Out-of Home interactive entertainment sector.

David Gull, CEO
Outer Realm

Mr. Gull has a unique combination of design & technical expertise as a licensed architect and technology executive and his company Outer Realm has the experience of delivering over 500 new development virtual tours to date. A large part of the Outer Realm business is the use of virtual reality to exemplify real estate, and its their practice to focus on creating experiences that are emotionally engaging and realistic to gain the customer trust during their clients’ sales process.

Prior to Outer Realm, David was a Vice-President at Floored, a Virtual Technology startup acquired by CBRE. He also has 6 years at the renowned architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. David graduated first in his class from Cornell University’s #1 Ranked Architecture Program.

David Parker, Founder

Wishplay is a non-profit that uses virtual reality to grant last wishes and unattainable experiences for the terminally ill and disabled. Previously David consulted as a system architect bringing bleeding edge technology to large national and global companies. He integrated existing legacy systems with bio-metrics, empathy analysis, AI, or IoT systems focusing on the retail, financial and telecommunications space. When not granting wishes he can be found out with his family filming unique 360 VR environments and experiences for patients

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. Regularly credited as one of the world’s 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 twelve books. His most recent works include “Augmented Reality: Where we Will All Live” and “The History of Visual Magic in Computers”. Dr. Peddie has also been honored by the CAD Society with a lifetime achievement award.

Bob Raikes, Publisher & Managing Editor
Large Display Monitor, Mobile Display Monitor, Display Daily
Founder, Meko Ltd.

Bob Raikes is an experienced sales and marketing specialist in distribution and in the displays business in particular. In addition to being Publisher and Managing Editor for Large Display Monitor, Mobile Display Monitor and Display Daily, Bob has also served as the displays editor for The Peddie Report and a regular contributor to Computer Shopper and other titles including the SID Information Display magazine.

From 1982 he was involved in the sales, marketing and distribution of computer displays, including seven years with Japanese monitor and graphic board maker Eizo, initially as sales director and later for five years as managing director of the company’s UK subsidiary. He established Meko Ltd, a specialist market research consultancy in 1994. Bob Raikes has appeared on TV and radio for his expertise; including BBC World and BBC Radio 4.