While America seems to be the hub for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content – a great deal of news comes from there anyway – one country that’s wholeheartedly embraced these technologies is South Korea. This month saw the return of the Global Developers Conference (GDF) 2019, with both VR and AR having a bigger presence than ever. And VRFocus just so happened to be there to give you a look around the event.
With a theme called ‘Beyond Experience’ for 2019, the GDF conference wanted to look at the way art, technology and society are combined, with a lot of the event focused on panel discussions by some of the leading companies in the field.
Held at the Gyeonggi Arts Center, this year there was more to see and do for attendees, with experiences covering those aforementioned stipulations. So for ‘Beyond Art’ visitors could experience Tree, a project highlighting the harrowing realities of tropical deforestation which is available on Viveport for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Or then there was Arden’s Wake by Penrose Studios, a title VRFocus last heard about in 2018 and the first instalment premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2017. Featuring Academy Award-winning actress Alicia Vikander, the two-part title is a post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story.
In the ‘Beyond Technology’ section, there was BioFlockVR, an interactive piece combines real-time biosensing to create the experience. Then there was Gabriel Barcia-Colombo’s Descent, an AR artwork and sculpture series examining avatars and their growing presence in modern life.
In ‘Beyond Society’ you had the likes of Felix & Paul Studios attend with Space Explorers: New Dawn, a two-part cinematic series highlighting the training and technology that each astronaut has to go through and employ. The studio also had Traveling While Black on show, a 20-minute documentary focusing on the long history of the restricted movement for black Americans. Offering one of the few videogame experiences was South Korean company Around Effect, with AR/VR Interaction Show, an AR shooting title designed for kids.