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Virtual Reality Very Much On The Table At Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival

This coming Monday and the Tuesday following it sees virtual reality (VR) become a main point of focus in the Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival (EDEF). The event sees the next session of its Ideas Studio which will focus on what VR can bring from both a creative and cultural standpoint and will feature speakers from REWIND:VR, Whispering Gibbon and ‘VR writers room’ Digital Jam Ltd. The VR focus covers a number of keynote speeches and panels and follows the previous week’s session on video game technology.

The full program for two days below. can be found below

MONDAY 15 AUGUST

11:00 – SOL ROGERS (REWIND:VR) – VIRTUAL REALITY: CAN YOU BELIEVE THE HYPE?

Looking at the history of VR over the last 20 years and how it has become a reality, from technology and platforms to smartphones and
appetite for the medium. Sol has worked with major artists and brands including Bjork, Rolls Royce, Red Bull and BBC.

12:00 – ADRIAN HON (SIX TO START) – HOW VR WILL BREAK MUSEUMS

Creator of the world’s bestselling smartphone fitness app ‘Zombie, run!’ will discuss how VR can do everything museums can but at greater
scale and lower cost. Does that mean museums will disappear?

14:00 – SIMON BENSON (DIRECTOR AT IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY GROUP WITHIN SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT WORLDWIDE STUDIOS) – VIRTUAL REALITY THE PLAYSTATION WAY

Ahead of the PlayStationVR release on 13th October, Simon will offer insight into the VR platform and the key features that will be included.
He will explain how the influence of PlayStation has steered Sony’s VR solution in a unique direction.

15:00 – PANEL – FUTURE REALITIES: EXPLORING AUGMENTED AND MIXED REALITY

Chair: Mark Atkin, Director – Crossover Labs

Tanya Laird, Founder – Digital Jam

Trevor Jones, Artist working with Augmented Reality

Keiichi Matsuda, Designer and Film-maker – Keiichi Matsuda Ltd

Is this real life? Or is this just fantasy? Pokemon Go has already taken over and in the near future it will be commonplace to create and
interact freely with holograms that blend into the rest of our surroundings. This panel will focus on where augmented and mixed
realities will take us and how these new ways of seeing will revolutionise the way we work and play, heightening creativity and making the imaginary become real.

16:00 – PANEL – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: CAN MACHINES POSSES EMOTIONS?

Artificial intelligence, the science of making clever machines, has resulted in programs that can win a game, recognise your face and even
appeal against your parking ticket. Research has been developed that gives machines skills of emotional intelligence, allowing them to have feelings and develop a personality. This panel explores whether we are at the dawn of sentient artificial intelligence and what that really means for the human race.

17:00 – VR WRITERS’ ROOM

Chair: Tanya Laird, Founder – Digital Jam

The VR Writers Room Live brings together multiple areas of expertise together (game, film, TV, comics, theatre) to discuss narrative design
and storytelling for the new and emerging medium of Immersive entertainment. This covers VR, AR, live 360, immersive theatre and any
other entertainment format that includes an element of artificial reality.

TUESDAY 16TH AUGUST

11:00 – JOE STEVENS (WHISPERING GIBBON) – TO REALITY AND BEYOND: TURNING VIRTUAL WORLDS INTO PHYSICAL MODELS THROUGH 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY

CEO of 3D-printing tech company, Joe will discuss the latest in technology to print physical models of gaming content, bringing them into the real word.

12:00 – PAUL LONG, CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR – METRO BOULOT DODO HACT: THE ART OF KEEPING TECH SIMPLE

Metro Boulot Dodo is an independent arts company that are known for combining live performance, original soundtrack and stunning visuals in a wide variety of contexts. Here, the Artistic Director will discuss the relationship between technology and artwork and introduce the concept behind HACT. The vision to bring bite size theatre experiences to venues and public spaces across the UK.

14:00 – AN INTRODUCTION TO MUSIC IN VIRTUAL REALITY WITH MELODYVR

When it comes to music, virtual reality will change the industry with its ability to disrupt how fans connect with the artists they love.
People will be able to attend a gig anywhere in the world without worry of price tags or age restrictions and sold out events will no longer
mean missing out on performances. New vantage points that allow you on stage with the world’s biggest bands, backstage at a festival or in a
DJ booth at an Ibiza superclub are no longer off limits. So how will this really affect the fans, artist, labels and promoters? Join the
founders of virtual reality music platform Melody VR, as they host an exciting panel of speakers from across the music industry to focus on
this new technology and consider what it means for the future of the music scene.

15:00 – PANEL – THE NEW STATE OF STORYTELLING: THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHY IN VR NARRATIVES

Chair: Oliver Franklin-Wallis, Assistant Editor, WIRED

Dan Efergan, Digital Group Creative Director at Aardman Animation
Studios

Jane Gauntlett, Artist and Producer, Founder of In My Shoes project

Toby Coffey, Head of Digital Development – National Theatre

VR has been proclaimed as the ultimate Empathy Machine. The medium will give us the ability to connect with humans in a different way,
experiencing the view of the world through eyes of a stranger. This panels brings VR storytelling pioneers to discuss the challenges, advantages and future of this new medium.

16:00 – VICKY ROBERTS (HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS AT STARSHIP GROUP) – HOW TO TURN SOCIAL NETWORKS INTO SOCIABLE NETWORKS

As Head of Communications at vTime, the first sociable network in VR, Vicky will discuss how VR will transform social networks from staring at computers and mobiles, to virtual destinations where sharing experiences will be possible from virtually anywhere, at virtually anytime on
virtually any device. Spending quality time with family and friends around the world.

17:00 – PEGGY WU (SENIOR RESEARCHER AT SMART INFORMATION FLOW TECHNOLOGIES) – ANSIBLE: VIRTUAL REALITY FOR SUPPORTING FUTURE MARS ASTRONAUTS

In this fascinating talk, learn about NASA’s vision for the future manned mission to Mars and how a team of researchers are building the
next generation communications tool using VR to provide psychological health and social support to our explorers as we venture beyond
Earth’s orbit.

The event,which will take place at The George Hotel on George Street in Edinburgh which will also streamed live online at thisistomorrow.info’s YouTube channel and on edef.co.uk.  VRFocus will bring you more news about VR and AR related events as we get it.