Unity Technologies’ second Vision VR/AR Summit has kicked off in Los Angeles, bringing more than 1,200 creative, tech and business leaders from the industry together to discuss the current state and ponder the future of XR.
The opening keynote (which you can watch here) featured presentations from partners including Microsoft, Facebook, Oculus, Google, Vuforia, NFL Films, Jet Propulsion Laboratories/NASA, Audi/Zerolight, ScopeAR, Within, Rewind/Redbull, The Void, Multiverse, Baobab and Spiraloid. Day one also saw the big reveal of the 2017 Vision VR/AR Summit Awards, following a month of intense testing and review of over 250 submissions.
Among the keynote highlights:
+ Unity CEO John Riccitiello kicked things off with Unity’s mission to democratize development, solve hard problems, and enable success. According to Riccitiello, the three secret ingredients to success are price, mobility, and content. The company’s Head of VR/AR Strategy, Tony Parisi, also took the stage to present Unity 2017 (beta); Natalie Grant, Sr. Product Marketer for VR/AR and Film, joined him on stage to showcase an interactive 360 video with animated CG objects, using new video playback features.
+ Brandon Bray, Principal Group Manager from Microsoft, announced 91% of Hololens applications are made with Unity. He also unveiled Mixed Reality will soon be available for Unity developers and gifted audience members with new Acer MR headsets that will arrive this summer.
+ Nathan Martz, Google Product Manager from Google announced that Unity is now integrated with Google Tango, and announced that Daydream will experience an update this May allowing creators to test VR and AR changes for their app in minutes. Jay Wright, President of Vuforia, announced a new feature for Tango-enabled devices: Vuforia Smart Terrain, which gives developers and designers the ability to build AR experiences that dynamically interact with the world around them such as in the new Mars exploration sample app demoed.
+ Mike Wuetherick, Product Manager and Sarah Stumbo, VR Evangelist from Unity showcased the demo A Mighty Kingdom, hinting at the possibilities of streaming in VR, using Timeline for linear sequencing and Cinemachine for tailored broadcasts.
+ Bay Raitt’s explained how his company Spiraloid is bringing together the power of VR with the joy of comics for the first time. Through the combination of stories, movies, and games, this not only changes how consumers interact with comics, but revolutionizes how they themselves can be creators within these cross media experiences.
And now, drumroll please, the 2017 Vision VR/AR Summit Awards Winners:
Best Game: Superhot VR (SUPERHOT Team)
Best Cinematic VR: Zero Days VR (Scatter)
Best 360 Video: MIYUBI (Felix & Paul Studios, in collaboration with Funny or Die)
Artistic Achievement Award: Chocolate (Tyler Hurd)
Technical Achievement Award: Ghostbusters: Dimension (The Void and Hyper Reality)
Narrative Achievement Award: Zero Days VR (Scatter)
Best AR Experience: ProtoSpace (NASA)
Best VR Experience: ASTEROIDS! (Baobab Studios)
Social Impact Award: Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story (Emblematic Group, Atrevida Productions, True Colors Fund)