VRTGO welcomes the following expert speakers

2017 Speakers

Luciana Carvalho Se

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Luciana joined REWIND to lead on business development and partnerships. With over five years experience in award-winning startups such as Racefully, UniPlaces, Import.io – on both the technical and creative side – Luciana is driven by big ideas, a global mindset and empowering tech entrepreneurs. She is an advocate and thought-leader for the UK’s immersive tech industry, having been integral to the founding of Realities Centre London and the VRAR Tech London Advocates sub-group. An ambassador and mentor for Code First Girls, Founders of the Future and Series Q, among others, she also co-runs Unfold Inclusion, a social enterprise that supports underrepresented voices in XR.




Business Development Manager at Rewind

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Luciana Carvalho Se
Business Development Manager

Oliver Kibblewhite

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Head of Special Projects at Rewind

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Oliver Kibblewhite
Head of Special Projects

Liz Rosenthal

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An early advocate and pioneer of interactive and immersive storytelling, new media business models and audience engagement.

Liz is founder & CEO of Power the Pixel, an organisation helping international media businesses and creatives adapt to stay relevant to digital change and changing audiences. Liz advises international media organisations on innovation strategies and helps creators and businesses to ideate, finance and distribute stories that engage connected audiences. She is an expert in devising innovation-centred development labs and programmes around interactive storytelling and VR.

PttP organised the annual Power to the Pixel: The Cross-Media Forum in association with The BFI London Film Festival over 9 years. This leading industry event connected the media industries with key innovators of the digital revolution, pioneering new models of storytelling, finance and distribution, in a conference, a think tank and the first international dedicated interactive and immersive media marketplace, The Pixel Market. PttP’s other main programme The Pixel Lab, is a leading project-focused business course for developing innovative story projects which has developed over 100 projects.

Liz has advised many international media organisations, including national and regional funds, leading international festivals, production companies and commissioners on innovation strategy, funding programmes and project strategy.

She is currently programmer for Venice International Film Festival's VR competition section and Venice Production Bridge Finance Market.

She is invited regularly to speak and moderate at international conferences, film festivals, markets and lecture/mentor at leading media training programmes including: Berlin, Cannes, Hong Kong, Dubai, London, Screen International Conferences, TEDx Transmedia, EAVE and BAFTA.

Liz was the Programme Director of Digimart’s Global Digital Distribution Summit, www.digimart.org in Montréal in 2005 and 2006.

She set up and ran the UK office for Next Wave Films (a Santa Monica based company of the Independent Film Channel US) from 1998 to 2002. Next Wave Films was a pioneer in the production, finance and sales of low budget features and digital filmmaking. The company helped exceptionally talented filmmakers, from the US and abroad, launch their careers. Their award winning films include Christopher Nolan's Following (Winner: Tiger Award, Rotterdam ’99, Silver Hitchcock, Dinard ’99), Joe Carnahan's Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane, Kate Davis' Southern Comfort (Grand Jury Prize, Sundance ’01), Amir Bar-Lev's Fighter (Best Documentary, Karlovy Vary ’00), Josh Aronson's Sound and Fury (Grand Jury Prize, Sundance ’00, Academy Award nomination ’01).

Liz is a board director of The Space (BBC & Arts Council England commisoning fund for digital arts projects) and on the advisory board of Immerse UK. She is a member of BAFTA, the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and a fellow of the RSA




CEO & Founder at Power to the Pixel

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Liz Rosenthal
CEO & Founder

Jon Davies

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Jon has over a decade’s experience in UK game development, predominantly as QA and technical writer for such series as Overlord, DJ Hero and Guitar Hero. After scoring the Narrative Designer role at indie developer Coatsink in 2016 – creators of the telekinetic puzzler series Esper – he spent the last year writing the Gear VR cyberpunk ‘gem’ Augmented Empire, released in July.




Narrative Designer at Coatsink

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Jon Davies
Narrative Designer

Martin McDonnell

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Since 2000 Martin has built a group of successful businesses that deliver best in class 3D visualisation and interactive digital presentation.

His vision to connect the latest digital technology platforms to the needs of different market sectors has led his businesses to be amongst the earliest innovators in bringing the benefits of augmented and virtual reality to the industries including design, construction, manufacturing and healthcare.

This drive has led his business Sublime to recently win one of only three inaugural Higgs EDGE awards and Soluis to win Innovate UK’s IC Tomorrow competition to develop augmented reality (AR) software, utilised at Crossrail sites in London.

Martin is now pioneering, and a recognised thought leader, in the development of shared immersive solutions for business and advanced AR assisted tools that will transform the world of work.




Soluis at Soluis

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Martin McDonnell
Soluis

Brynley Gibson

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Brynley Gibson, who has been producing in a range of creative industries for over 18 years. He is currently the head of studios for Kuju, a division of Curve Digital Entertainment. Most recently he released the critically acclaimed and multi award winning The Chainsmokers: Paris VR for Sony Corp. Prior to this as Executive Producer at Sony London Studio he led the PSVR launch title PlayStation VR Worlds.Other titles in Brynley's production portfolio include Battalion Wars 2, the Chime series, the BAFTA winning The Movies and he was also the series producer and one of the original creators behind Nintendo's multi-million selling and long-running Art Academy series.




Head of Studios at Kuju

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Brynley Gibson
Head of Studios

Maximillian Doelle

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Maximilian Doelle is Chief Holographic Officer at Kazendi - a mixed reality studio that helps large organisations to leverage the opportunities of mixed reality. Kazendi helped companies such as Allianz, Remy Martin, SEGRO and many others unleash the potential of holographic technologies such as Microsoft HoloLens.

Max works to change how we interact with digital information using technologies such as Microsoft's HoloLens. With Kazendi’s unique service to prototype any idea from concept to customer in just two weeks, Max is speeding up innovation and challenging the status quo through radical iteration.




Chief Holographic Officer at Kazendi

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Maximillian Doelle
Chief Holographic Officer

Michael Lewis

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Michael Lewis is the technical lead for Digitally Assisted Assembly within the Integrated Manufacturing Group The AMRC. His research is based on the development of digital work instructions for assembly, maintenance, repair and inspection operations with a focus on augmented and virtual reality.




Technical lead for Digitally Assisted Assembly at The AMRC

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Michael Lewis
Technical lead for Digitally Assisted Assembly

Keith Russell

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Keith is Virtalis's Global Account Manager, a frequent speaker at conferences, Keith has been travelling the world for the past 3 years advising Engineering companies on implementing VR and AR technology. Keith has a Design and Engineering background in Aerospace and Formula One, plus a great history of bringing cutting edge technologies to the market, being involved with such products as 3dsMax, Wavefront and early 3D CAD.




Global Account Manager at Virtalis

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Keith Russell
Global Account Manager

Christophe Mallet

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Christophe Mallet will be joining Simon Barratt on his panel looking at how immersive tech will help us communicate and socialise
Christophe is the co-founder of Somewhere Else, a London-based creative consultancy and production house specialised in immersive technologies (VR/AR/MR).
After 8 years spent between digital strategy consultancy, event production and VR studio Exzeb, Christophe started Somewhere Else to help brands, agencies and innovators harness the power of VR/AR/MR to win in the Age of Experience

Working with the likes of Samsung, Canal+ and ExxonMobil, Somewhere Else has enabled brands in the fashion, retail and entertainment sectors to build deeper relationships with their audiences through powerful VR experiences.

Christophe is a regular VR blogger and a member of the Uni-VR think tank.




AR/VR Specialist at Somewhere Else

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Christophe Mallet
AR/VR Specialist

Dr Faisal Mushtaq

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“The challenges and opportunities for virtual reality: a human factors perspective”

Dr Faisal Mushtaq is a cognitive neuroscientist and Academic Fellow in Health Engineering at the University of Leeds. Faisal’s expertise lie in using principles from cognitive science (including measurement of neural activity) to assess and improve human performance across a variety of contexts- from childhood sensorimotor disorders through to surgeons performing highly skilled minimally invasive procedures. He has previously acted as specialist advisor to industry on the health and safety implications of Virtual Reality (VR) use in young children. Faisal will be presenting on the human factors-related challenges posed by VR and how overcoming these challenges will open exciting new opportunities that could truly transform the ways in which humans interact with computers.




Cognitive Neuroscientist & Academic Fellow In Health Engineering at Leeds University

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Dr Faisal Mushtaq
Cognitive Neuroscientist & Academic Fellow In Health Engineering

Doug Wolff

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Doug will be facilitating the Architecture and Construction workshop along with Soluis




Partner Technology Manager, at Unreal Engine, Epic Games

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Doug Wolff
Partner Technology Manager,

Sol Rogers

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Sol Rogers is CEO and Founder of REWIND, a production agency that fuses bleeding-edge technology with award-winning creative storytelling. Known for pushing the boundaries in innovative content creation, REWIND’s acclaimed immersive projects include BBC Home - a VR Spacewalk, the launch of Jaguar I-PACE in VR, and Ghost in the Shell VR. The team combines its deep-rooted heritage in VFX and CGI production, with an industry-defining approach to VR, AR, MR and experiential marketing.

Sol is Chair of Immerse UK, the first nation-wide network for immersive companies, working to ensure that the UK becomes the global leader in immersive technologies. Sol is also a BAFTA VR Advisory Group Executive and an advisor to globally recognised conferences. Sol’s passion for VR has led him to set up VRLO; the UK’s most popular VR meetup, and VR Together; a platform to help create VR for good. Prior to founding REWIND, Sol was a university lecturer for 15 years in Digital Animation, VFX & Emerging Technology.

Sol is a VR evangelist and prominent international keynote speaker, often quoted in the press and appearing on TV.




CEO and Founder, REWIND at REWIND

REWIND, a production agency that fuses bleeding-edge technology with award-winning creative storytelling. Known for pushing the boundaries in innovative content creation, REWIND’s acclaimed immersive projects include BBC Home - a VR Spacewalk, the launch of Jaguar I-PACE in VR, and Ghost in the Shell VR. The team combines its deep-rooted heritage in VFX and CGI production, with an industry-defining approach to VR, AR, MR and experiential marketing.

Website
Sol Rogers
CEO and Founder, REWIND

Simon Barratt

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How about ‘Social VR / AR – Challenges and Opportunities’ ?
This panel session will explore how immersive tech can help us and hinder us in our social interactions for both work and play.




Games and VR entrepreneur at

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Simon Barratt
Games and VR entrepreneur

Chris Freeman

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Chris will be facilitating the Manufacturing workshop where he will be looking at how immersive tech is impacting this sector and where immersive tech and save companies time and money.

I am theme lead for Digital Manufacturing and technical fellow for Augmented Reality (AR) at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre's (AMRC) Factory 2050. My work focuses on the medium to high TRL (Technology Readiness Level) development and integration of AR, Virtual Reality (VR) and wearable technology in respect of MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul), assembly and digitally connected environments. With a master’s degree in design & manufacture, I specialise in the area of advanced visualisation, focusing on VR & AR. I have a wide range of experience demonstrating applications for aerospace, construction, civil nuclear, automotive and military sectors. As part of Factory 2050 I lead an exceptionally talented team delivering AMRC Factory 2050’s Digital Manufacturing capability, incorporating Manufacturing Informatics and Digitally Assisted Assembly. Tasked with driving vertical and horizontal innovation in emerging technologies, my current activities include developing the AMRC digital manufacturing strategy, managing large programmes of work, building consortiums for collaboration, and identifying funding opportunities in the applied use of AR / VR and IoT technologies.




Lead for Digital Manufacturing and AR at AMRC

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Chris Freeman
Lead for Digital Manufacturing and AR

Matt Sansam

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Matt Sansam is a digital and creative industries veteran, lead technologist for the digital economy and holds the role of Programme Manager for Innovate UK, the UK's Innovation agency. Matt specialises in project and programme scoping, end to end delivery, product and service deployment and has worked with many organisations within music, publishing, games, film, IV, culture, advertising, fashion, education, sport, healthcare, finance and accessibility.
He has worked on everything from small budget hand-held releases to large scale complex projects. As part of the Innovate UK Digital Economy team, Matt manages relationships with business and academic communities, as well as scoping, planning, developing and delivering various interventions aimed at small and start-up businesses.




Innovation Lead for Digital at Innovate UK

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Matt Sansam
Innovation Lead for Digital

Antonia Koop

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Training Workshop: 'VR Powered Experiential Learning - Rocket Fuel for Training and Education'

Take aways: understanding the power of VR to deliver high impact trainings, understand the questions you need to ask to identify the value and power of VR for your training programs but also understand the constraints, the uses and limitations for its application in learning and development in a variety of domains (hard skills, soft skills, the concrete technical learning versus how VR can change our thinking and behaviour), sharing of experiences and visions for the future of VR in training and education.

ANTONIA KOOP, Managing Director of Kite Rider-Strategic Adventures Ltd (aka corncutter.games) and Strategic Nudge Ltd
Antonia leads a team of thought leaders and practitioners from the worlds of neuroscience, cognitive and socio-emotional development and professional education, which together with the companies' games development team convert this expertise into high-impact experiential learning adventures. Using cutting-edge games technology including VR and AR the companies provide training for senior executives in a wide range of private and public sector organisations.

Antonia has a rich and varied background in war journalism, professional training, academic lecturing, research and as founder and former CEO of a multinational organization providing training and support for journalists in war zones




Managing Director at Kite Rider

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Antonia Koop
Managing Director

Jed Ashforth

Talk Information:

Talk Title: Invisible When No One is Looking

Jed is the co-founder of this new VR consultancy. In a previous life Jed worked at PlayStation VR
where he spent everyday exploring new virtual realities, charting the best practices for this incredible new medium, and advising PlayStation® developers on how to build the greatest, most innovative gameplay experiences for PSVR.

@jedashforth




Co Founder at Realised Realities

World-leading expertise for every challenge in Virtual Reality

Developing a Virtual Reality experience can present a wide range of new and unusual challenges for businesses and developers. The medium is so new and unexplored that it can sometimes be hard to find someone with the answers. Realised Realities is a world-class Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology consultancy with decades of experience of helping developers identify and overcome the unexpected challenges that this new medium presents. We're passionate about great VR, and we're 100% focused on guiding our clients to the highest quality solutions.

Website
Jed Ashforth
Co Founder

Aldis Sipolins

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Enhancing Human Performance with VR and Machine Learning

Abstract (subject to change based on on new research)
Virtual reality tricks your brain into believing you're somewhere real. This is the power of Presence, and it's going to revolutionize human research. An IBM Research experiment had participants complete a memory game in VR while wearing an EEG brain sensing headband. Using machine learning techniques, researchers were able to successfully predict memory based on brain activity. In other words, we can predict whether or not you will remember something based on what your brain was doing when you saw it.

Aldis is a VR evangelist and lifelong videogame nerd whose work combines virtual reality, cognitive neuroscience, and game design. Aldis received a Ph.D. in Visual Cognition and Human Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015, specializing in neuroenhancement. His current work at IBM Research uses machine learning, sensors, 3d printing, and robotics to enhance performance and learning in VR/AR.




Head of Virtual Reality and Game Design at IBM Research New York

IBM Research is one of the world’s largest and most influential corporate research labs, with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. We play the long game, investing now in tomorrow's breakthroughs. Watson, the world's first cognitive system, is the fruit of over 50 years of IBM research in artificial intelligence. Today, it forms a core part of IBM's business.

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Aldis Sipolins
Head of Virtual Reality and Game Design

Nick Whiting

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"The Road to Robo Recall and Beyond"

He'll take a look at what they learned about players, technology, physiology, and psychology through creating Robo Recall, and how those lessons are shaping how they think about what they're working on next.

Nick Whiting is currently overseeing the development of the award-winning Unreal Engine 4's virtual and augmented reality efforts, including shipping the recent "Robo Recall", “Bullet Train,” "Thief in the Shadows," "Showdown," and "Couch Knights" VR titles.  Previously, he has helped shipped titles in the blockbuster "Gears of War" series, including "Gears of War 3" and "Gears of War: Judgment."  He is also currently serving as the chair of the Khronos OpenXR initiative, working to create a standard for VR and AR platforms and applications.




Technical Director of VR and AR at Epic Games

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games. Today Epic is building Paragon, Fortnite, SPYJiNX, BattleBreakers, RoboRecall and the new Unreal Tournament. Epic’s Unreal Engine technology brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, VR and the Web.

Website
Nick Whiting
Technical Director of VR and AR

Thor Gunnarsson

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Surfing Peaks, Surviving Troughs: Navigating Through VR´s Hype Cycle

From building and scaling Everest VR, the team at Sólfar gained a few hard-won lessons for any startup creating VR games and experiences in the middle of a classic Hype Cycle. What did we learn about the technical, design and business challenges of early VR? And how do we climb the slope of enlightenment together?

From his involvement with the first wave of Virtual Reality in San Francisco to the advent of mobile gaming at BAFTA award-winning Ideaworks3D in London, and throughout his 7 years of service as VP Business Development at CCP, Thor has specialized in forging business opportunity in the adjacent possible between creative developers and disruptive technologies.




Co-Founder / Business Development Director at Sólfar

Founded in Reykjavík, Iceland in October 2014 by three game industry veterans, our mission is to create and publish pure VR games that thrill players, define the medium, and establish Sólfar as the category leader in virtual reality entertainment.

We are currently developing multiple projects across all major VR platforms, including PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

Website
Thor Gunnarsson
Co-Founder / Business Development Director

VRTGO welcomes the following expert speakers

2015 Speakers

Jed Ashforth

Talk Information:

Talk Title: Invisible When No One is Looking

Jed is the co-founder of this new VR consultancy. In a previous life Jed worked at PlayStation VR
where he spent everyday exploring new virtual realities, charting the best practices for this incredible new medium, and advising PlayStation® developers on how to build the greatest, most innovative gameplay experiences for PSVR.

@jedashforth




Co Founder at Realised Realities

World-leading expertise for every challenge in Virtual Reality

Developing a Virtual Reality experience can present a wide range of new and unusual challenges for businesses and developers. The medium is so new and unexplored that it can sometimes be hard to find someone with the answers. Realised Realities is a world-class Virtual Reality and Immersive Technology consultancy with decades of experience of helping developers identify and overcome the unexpected challenges that this new medium presents. We're passionate about great VR, and we're 100% focused on guiding our clients to the highest quality solutions.

Website
Jed Ashforth
Co Founder