Prost! Cheers! VR NOW Con is here
With the VR and AR market projected to reach $55 billion in 2021–just three short years from now–captivating content will be in high demand; headsets without content to view is the equivalent of wine bottles without wine. But for a lot of VR-makers, the industry is akin to staring into the distant vineyards waiting for the Riesling grapes to ripen.
No reason to sit home and cry into your beer. As the immersive media industry develops, media conferences have become the de facto backbone of the virtual reality sector because they get far-flung VR-makers and business people face-to-face. Festivals and conferences are where projects get funded, produced and distributed—not to mention inspired and excited about the craft. Conferences are where one can see new work, but increasingly, they are where VR insiders get to think about new ways to evangelize VR.
VR NOW Con, just outside of Berlin, is fast becoming a must-attend for the immersive media sector. Not only is it for creatives, by exhibiting and honoring the artistry, but VR Now Con highlights aspects relevant to the entire virtual reality pipeline.
Designed to mix future-forward business developers and technology talent with creatives, the VR NOW Con conference and awards has become part of the MediaTech Con. Together with VR NOW Con and Changing the Picture (CTPiX), MediaTech Con offers a joint platform for a two-day program with both broad industry and VR-specific talks and workshops. The talk on AI and scriptwriting, for instance, will take on how new technologies can affect (un-employ?) filmmakers of all types.
Integrating the VR conversation into the larger film and television discussions can inject more opportunities for VR content and audience development. Seeing VR projected at 270° in the middle of a 180°-oriented theater helps advance the time table for mass adoption, much like how adding boxes and screw caps to wine packaging options ended up increasing market share.
VR NOW Con so believes in audience growth by way of audience experience, it is devoting a workshop, panel discussion, and a showcase to uncover how to use cinematic VR and interactive solutions in a traditional movie theater. Going beyond a single goggles moment into a shared viewing experience removes one more barrier to VR’s popularity.
In addition to talks and panels, there will be master classes, an exhibition and an awards show. Not to be missed: the convergence of old media with new media in a game show format. Held in an actual late night talk show studio, the audience can participate, and test their understanding of VR. It wouldn’t be a true VR event without a sense of immersion; the mini-competition is intended to fully engage the participants in the session’s material. Alas, no prizes—though bottles of wine (or boxes) would make great rewards for playing.
VR NOW Con takes place November 14 – 15th in Potsdam, Germany with speakers from Magic Leap, Unity, Amazon and Warner Brothers among others. Tickets range from €39 – €249.