Simon Benson, Director Immersive Technology Group,
Sony Computer Entertainment’s Worldwide Studios
Simon’s team was instrumental in the creation of Project Morpheus – the Virtual Reality system for PlayStation(R) 4. He has worked in the games industry for over 15 years, with hands on experience of creating cutting edge games such as MotorStorm. Simon was also instrumental in helping pioneer Sony’s efforts in stereoscopic 3D gaming and entertainment.
Prior to entering the games industry, Simon worked in Military R&D and specialized in immersive simulation.
Frank Vitz, Creative Director, Crytek
Frank Vitz’s tenured history is all about solving visual problems to create exciting experiences across a wide range of applications. He is particularly interested in projects that push the envelope of visual effects.
His specialties include digital visual content creation pertaining to visual effects supervision, art direction, project management, and systems design.
Just some of his projects have included movies like X-Men I and II, Stargate, and Judge Dredd. He has also helped develop game projects like Fight Night, SSX, Dragon Age and Battlefield. Other notable projects include game engines like Ignite and Frostbite as well as theme park attractions like Universal Studios Adventures of Spider-Man.
At Crytek, one of his current areas of interest is Virtual Reality, and he has a firm belief that the industry is on the verge of something big!
Juan Barambones, CEO, Rectangular Studios
Rectangular Studios is an independent studio focused on Virtual Reality Games based in Cáceres, Spain. Juan is also the Founder of Remotte Labs, he works with Project NautilusVR Virtual Reality Underwater, and he is also the Cáceres Google Developers Group (GDG) Founder and Lead Organizer. Among several other projects, Juan is working with educational Cardboard VR and has written a comprehensive guide for VR devices.
Juan has received special permission to demonstrate and discuss Project Tango. Project Tango is Google’s room scanning technology that greatly enhances the immersive ability of Android smartphones for augmented and virtual reality. Project Tango developer kits are currently only available in the United States, and only a handful of representatives have the approval to publicly discuss the technology in Europe. This is a rare opportunity for all delegates to appreciate what this technology has in store.
Richard Huddy, Chief Gaming Scientist, AMD
A huge advocate for virtual reality and immersive technology, Richard specializes in 3D Graphics technologies for both PC and consoles. AMD is a leading GPU and CPU manufacturer, and their technology is the foundation for millions of PCs and the latest generation gaming consoles like the Sony PS4, XBOX One, and Wii-U.
James Golding, Lead Programmer, Epic Games
Myles McGovern, President, IM360
IM360 is a joint venture between Immersive Media Company and Digital Domain Holdings Limited. Myles is also President and CEO of Immersive Media Company (IMC). IMC’s revolutionary 360° video technology has been changing the face of interactivity across the web, mobile devices and VR, creating a new standard for the way we interact with video in the entertainment market.
Under Myles’ direction, Immersive Media has pioneered and become the world’s leading provider of 360° interactive video. Starting with military and intelligence applications, the technology was popularized when Immersive Media brought the concept of “Street View” to Google. It has since become the industry standard for interactive second screen experiences. From working with top brands such as Converse, Samsung and Mountain Dew, breaking new ground for American Express “Unstaged,” with the Taylor Swift video, “Blank Spaces,” to the live streaming of an NHL game, Immersive Media is changing the way we view entertainment.
David Finsterwalder, Founder
Working in Archeology, David Finsterwalder gained profound knowledge in 3D Reconstruction through LiDAR Scanning, UAV and Ground Photogrammetry. Driven by the question how to unlock the full potential of the gathered data for research and public relations alike, he started to look into the use of game engines and VR HMDs for visualization.
Amazed by all the possibilities for scene reconstructions and VR HMDs – not only for Archeology but also for Virtual Tourism and Gaming – he decided to dedicate all his efforts in Immersive Technology and founded realities.io which, among other projects, visualized 3D scans of two archeological excavations and a medieval castle. He also participated in the VR Jam with the latter reconstruction and accompanying VR app.
Kirill Pokutnyy, Author, Chornobyl360
Co-founder, WIT LLC
WIT company specializes in software development and integration of interactive technologies (multi-touch surfaces, Kinect, projection mapping, augmented reality, etc.). Kirill is also the co-founder of Verum Visum, which specializes in virtual reality solutions development and 360 video production. Chornobyl360 is a new immersive VR documentary about the famous meltdown and city.
Dominic Eskofier, Marketing & PR Coordinator
Co-founder and moderator, reddit.com/r/oculus
Founder, Virtual Reality Germany
Co-Organizer, Virtual Reality Europe
Dominic is one of the most prominent faces of the Virtual Reality online community. After having a chance to try out the original duct-taped prototype of the Oculus Rift back in 2012, he became a VR enthusiast and co-founded http://www.reddit.com/r/oculus, one of the biggest online communities for virtual reality and immersive technology (Nickname: dudelsac). Thanks to his year-long expertise and his network in the video game industry, he connects enthusiasts, developers, investors and hardware manufacturers to push VR development as hard as possible.
To reach that goal, he founded and organizes the Virtual Reality Germany meetup page as well as the European equivalent, VREUR. While his personal enthusiasm for Virtual Reality is strictly separated from his work at Rockstar Games – the company hasn’t announced anything in that regard – he started a variety of projects that also includes VR cinema. He has built his own VR GoPro rig and has started working with choreographers, war journalists and artists to create new forms of Virtual Entertainment.
Paul Gailey Alburquerque, Marketing Director
Droiders is a European mobile development agency with Android origins and among the first worldwide invited to become a Google Glass Pioneer agency, achieving streaming and AR milestones with Glass in the surgical field. They remain active with Glass for Work program via their Streye suite.
Droiders have launched numerous consumer based projects for European brands with Oculus and Cardboard since 2014 and also develop on Epson Moverio for manufacturing and health.
Paul most recently led the team on 360º sports VR content for a major global football brand and remains bullish about the prospects for mainstream adoption of AR and VR for the consumer market.
Simon Brown, Core Developer, Vireio Perception
Simon has been working as a full-time software developer in fields unrelated to virtual reality for his whole professional career. On a volunteer / hobby basis, Simon has been a critical contributor to the Vireio Perception open source virtual reality drivers. Vireio Perception makes it possible to play existing games in virtual reality even if they weren’t designed for that purpose.
In conjunction with other developers, what makes Simon’s story unique is that prior to Vireio Perception, he had absolutely no experience in game development or DirectX. Over the course of a year, he dramatically sharpened his skills and abilities with these APIs and technologies, and has been instrumental in the creation and contribution to some of the most significant enhancements to the Vireio Perception project.
Grant Bagwell, Technical Director, Ayrmer Software
Ayrmer Software develops a range of bespoke business solutions using multiple technologies matched to client requirements. Grant has worked on a wide range of projects, and some of his most advanced work included projects for the Oil Industry that featured 3D visualizations of oil wells and calculations of lateral forces.
Grant has both a professional and hobbyist interest in virtual and augmented Reality. In December 2013 he joined the Open Source Vireio Perception project as a Core Developer, and has contributed to the project in his spare time as a way of learning about the associated technologies like DirectX, various SDKs (e.g. Oculus’ SDK), and to see first hand what experiences work in virtual reality.
Alexander Bolton, CEO & Co-founder
NUCLEUS VR is a 2 person start-up based in France. Alex and Martin (co-founders) have developed a device agnostic collaborative virtual reality technology. Whatever your device or your country, you can join the same VR “world”. NUCLEUS is a core technology that can be used for B2B and B2C applications.
NUCLEUS VR is part of the castAR pilot program. They will be demonstrating castAR used with NUCLEUS at Immersed Europe.
Jean-Edouard Fages, Game designer, Agharta Studio
With a strong background in level design for Arkane Studio, Certain Affinity and Ubisoft, Jean-Edouard became game designer and artist at indie developer Agharta Studio and worked on the games Shufflepuck Cantina VR, EpicDragon VR and SteamCrew VR.
His primary focus in virtual reality is comfort, accessibility and immersion through designing appropriate control schemes and interactions for both games and experiences.
Agharta Studio’s latest work, SteamCrew VR, most recently won the top $200,000 prize from Oculus VR’s 2015 Game Jam
Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO, nDreams
nDreams Ltd is a fast-growing independent virtual reality publisher/developer based in Farnborough, Hampshire in the UK. nDreams is studio focused on creating and selling innovative virtual reality games and experiences that take pride in combining originality with commerciality. Prior to focusing on VR, they were the leading global publisher on PlayStation Home, and created two large global Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).
Patrick was previously Creative Director of Eidos/SCi, responsible for game design, gameplay and overall quality on all the titles there including Tomb Raider Legend, Hitman Blood Money, Just Cause and Conflict: Desert Storm. Patrick was also head of external development and acquisitions at Codemasters where he signed and produced titles such as the Music/MTV series and Operation Flashpoint. Patrick also worked on games like TOCA, Colin McRae and Micro Machines.
Patrick authored ‘Game Design Complete’ by Paraglyph Press, and is an amateur film director and music writer.
Matthew McGinity, Founder
Matthew has been creating immersive systems and applications in academic, industrial and artistic contexts for almost two decades, from prototyping VR simulations for astronauts at the European Space Agency to heading the computer science team at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at UNSW Sydney. Matthew has worked with panoramic cameras, omnistereo 360° real-time cinemas, CAVE and dome systems and head-mounted displays in order to build artworks, visualizations, museum exhibits and training simulations. In 2014 he completed a PhD concerning the perceptual foundations and artistic possibilities of immersive ‘presence’. He is a member of the Marseille-based artist collective LFKs. Recently, he has turned his attention to the founding of 2666, a VR studio dedicated to exploring the more experimental and radical possibilities of the nascent medium. He currently lives in Berlin.
Dr. Antonio Victor Garcia-Serrano (PhD), Project Manager, Zakato Interactive Imaging
Antonio comes from a background of research in 3D computer graphics and has been involved with fish-eye panoramic VR images for over fifteen years.
With broad international experience, he is continuously innovating in interactive 360º imaging projects and was distinguished in 2011 as a Master of Contemporary Panoramic Photography by the International Virtual Reality Panoramic Association. His latest research in 360º filming has led him to develop proprietary techniques, presented in international conferences, to produce high quality full 360º mono and stereoscopic 3D videos.
Emmanuel Marquez, CTO, Starbreeze Studios
Manuel R. Gutierrez Novelo, CEO, ImmersiON-VRelia
Manuel founded TDVision in 2003 providing an entire solution for the full HD 3D to the home ecosystem in 2006, now ISO MVC standardized for Blu-ray 3D and internationally awarded with a Lumiere 2013 for his contributions to the 3D industry.
Manuel is heading up ImmersiON-VRelia, a company developing high-end head mounted displays along with metaverse software tools.
Chuck Ian Gordon, CEO, Gordon’s Arcade
Chuck Ian Gordon is a VR storyteller that writes and publishes science fiction adventures on paper, ebooks and as virtual reality movies. Chuck’s first 3D computer graphics animation dates back to the late 1980s. He gave his first talk and demo about database generated virtual worlds with VRML and an Oracle database in 1998. Today an international team of extraordinary 3D artists and pioneering technology experts in his team is creating 21st Century VR Adventures.
Chuck’s 2012 published debut novel is GameW0rldz, and is based on current and near-future technological developments and the author’s own experiments with artificial intelligence. The GameW0rldz sequel: The 3futurez holodeck musical is being produced as VR movie. As Gordon’s Arcade is building a VR movies pipeline, he is sharing the knowledge he collects in his new book: “The cinematic VR formula” containing everything directors and producers need to know about cinematic VR from top and medium level.
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. Sonya Kim, CEO, One Caring Team
Dr. Kim is a Board-certified Emergency Physician who has personally managed over 40,000 patients in the last 20 years in Healthcare and is passionate about building therapeutic VR experiences using the latest technology as she leads product development and product management. Dr. Kim earned her MD from SUNY Stony Brook and her joint MBA from Columbia Business School and UC Berkeley.
One Caring Team uses the latest VR science and therapies, instantly transporting patients to discover a new world with endless possibilities. Imagine drifting away to the soothing sounds and visuals of a virtual vacation bringing about a childlike energy never seen before. Current research proves VR not only reduces pain, but also anxiety and depression which are key areas of dementia. Their goal is to launch this technology further than ever by restoring quality of life to those we love most.
Jakob Johannson, CEO, Gleechi
Gleechi is an award-winning software solution called Virtual Grasp that makes it possible to animate realistic and free hand motion in virtual reality. Jakob has been personally awarded as one of Sweden’s brightest young entrepreneurs, and has several years of experience with launching technology and entertainment products in the European markets.
Luis Castillo López, Founder & CEO, NeuroDigital
Born as a spin-off of the University of Almería, NeuroDigital Technologies develops Virtual Reality solutions for entertainment and serious games purposes and pay special attention to solutions for visual, neurological and physical rehabilitation. Its flagship product is Gloveone, a wireless haptic wearable that delivers the ultimate dream of Virtual Technology, “Touch Virtual Reality”. They have coined it as “Extended Virtual Reality” where the user touches and feels everything displayed through a computer screen or through a Virtual Reality Headset.
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.
Servaes Joordens, Co-Founder and Lead Hardware & Firmware Engineer,
Servaes has been involved with camera technologies for over 15 years, mainly in industrial machine vision. Over the years, he has evolved from a programmer, to a hardware engineer, to a system engineer, to making complex machine vision solutions. Servaes was introduced to 360º video two years ago and decided to step into this new world, and start designing exciting new products. Servaes Joordens has a broad passion for every aspect of technical development, which he can utilize in the design of high performance 360 cameras.
Kevin Williams, CEO, KWP Limited
Kevin Williams has an extensive background in the development and sales of the latest amusement and attraction applications and technologies. The UK born specialist in the pay-to-play scene is well-known through his consultancy KWP. He’s also a prolific writer and presenter that also runs his own news service called The Stinger Report. Covering the emergence of this new entertainment market, Kevin has also co-authored a book covering the sector called ‘The Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment Frontier’. He is also the Founding Chairman of DNA Association, which focuses on the digital Out-of Home interactive entertainment sector.
Philipp Maas, Developer, Sonar VR
Philipp Maas is a generalist CG freelancer that is also student in Ludwigsburg with his main focus being animation. He created the first 360° Full-CG short at the Filmacademy in 2014, and most recently co-developed the Sonar VR experience.