Your global VR events calendar for the rest of 2016

As the virtual and augmented reality space heats up, so does the number of conferences. Check out the latest technologies and network with industry leaders at these coming events.

Below are a number of events organized in the virtual and augmented reality industry this year, which will take place in different places around the world.

August in Los Angeles: VRLA Summer Expo

(Image Courtesy of VRLA)

(Image courtesy VRLA.)

This year’s VRLA event will take place on August 5 and 6 at the LA Convention Center and will feature expositions from companies and professionals in virtual reality including panel presentations, announcements, demos and over 100 exhibitors including the companies behind the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR and Gear VR.

The tickets are $40 for a one day expo pass and $290 for a two-day “pro” pass.

September in Shanghai: Global VR/AR China Summit

(Image Courtesy Global VR Summit)

(Image courtesy Global VR Summit.)

The inaugural Global VR/AR event will take place on the September 7 and 8 in Shanghai and will feature speakers such as HTC’s China head Alvin Wang Graylin, Global Vice President and China General Manager of NVIDIA Jianzhong Zhang, Chair of IEEE Digital Senses Initiative Yu Yuan and Founder and CEO of Amplified Robot Steve Dann, among others.

September in Mexico: IEEE ISMAR 2016

(Image Courtesy IEEE ISMAR)

(Image courtesy IEEE ISMAR.)

The International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality event will take place from September 19 to 23 in Merida, Mexico. The IEEE ISMAR is the leading international academic conference in the fields of augmented and mixed reality, and is the first in the series to be held in Latin America.

September in Los Angeles: 11th International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality & Associated Technologies

(Image courtesy ICDVRAT.)

(Image courtesy ICDVRAT.)

This year’s International Conference on  Disability, Virtual Reality & Associated Technologies will take place from September 20 to 22 in Los Angeles, California, USA at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Pershing Square, Los Angeles. The keynote speaker is French VR pioneer Simon Richir.

Exhibitors and sponsors include Epic Games and Escape Technology.

September in Montage Beverly Hills: TheGrill 2016

(Image courtesy TheGrill.)

(Image courtesy TheGrill.)

The Grill 2016 conference is a 2-day, 18 session event that will take place on September 26 to 27 in Montage Beverly Hills. It will bring together newsmakers to debate challenges and opportunities facing content in the digital age, in light of convergence between entertainment, media and technology.

Among the speakers confirmed for the event include WEVR Co-Founder and EVP Audience & Marketing Anthony Batt, Emblematic Group CEO Nonny de la Peña, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, Showtime CEO David Nevins, President STX Entertainment Sophie Watts, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Azoff MSG Entertainment Irving Azoff, President and General Manager BBC America Sarah Barnet and Chief Executive Officer IMAX Entertainment Greg Foster.

It will feature, among many other topics, Stars of VR, Mobile-On-the-Go, Production, Content Play and Marketing Connections.

October in London: VR & AR World

(Image Courtesy VR&AR World)

(Image courtesy VR&AR World.)

The VR/AR World conference will be held from Tuesday, October 18 to Thursday, October 20 at ExCeL London and will feature virtual and augmented reality experts from HTC Vive, nDreams, the BBC, Boeing, Warner Brothers, Ovum, IDC, and other organizations.

There will also be demonstrations by leading software and technology vendors.

November in Newcastle: VRTGO

(Image Courtesy VRTGO)

(Image courtesy VRTGO.)

VRTGO will take place on Thursday, November 9 at the Baltic Center for Contemporary Art in Newcastle Gateshead, UK presents leading experts in virtual reality who talk about its use in gaming, entertainment, modelling, training and marketing.

The VRTGO will feature speakers such as PlayStation VR game designer Jed Ashforth, Unity community evangelist Joe Robins and CCP Games producer John Nejady.

November in Amsterdam: The Dutch VR Days

(Image courtesy Dutch VR Days.)

(Image courtesy Dutch VR Days.)

Dutch VR Days will take place November 3 to 6 in Amsterdam and will focus on virtual reality trends and hardware. The event is organized in partnership with Samsung, WeMakeVR and other companies.

November in Japan: AsiaHaptics 2016

AsiaHaptics will take place on November 29 to December 1 at the Mitsui Garden Hotel, Kashiwanoha, Japan and feature experts in haptic hardware, human haptic perception and applications. It is sponsored by the Virtual Reality Society of Japan and supported by other Asian academic societies.

Over 200 companies will demo their products at the event.

Watch the video promo below.

11. November in Philadelphia: SAE 2016

(Image Courtesy SAE)

(Image courtesy SAE.)

The SAE World Congress will be held November 14 to 16 this year in Philadelphia and will bring together virtual and augmented reality experts in automotive, marine, commercial vehicle and aerospace industries.

November in Houston: ITC 16

(Image Courtesy ITC)

(Image courtesy ITC.)

The Immersive Technology Conference (ITC16) will take place on November 2016 in Houston, Texas. Companies in the entertainment, training and simulation, education, architecture, gaming, aerospace, oil and gas, medical, energy and other fields will showcase their products.

Guest speakers will talk about the state of virtual and augmented reality and real world applications for businesses. Speakers include Microsoft’s Jared Bienz, Optech4D CEO Vincent Higgins, and Samsung’s Alexander Ansari.

December in New York: VRevolution


VRevolution will take place on December 16 at New York’s Nasdaq MarketSite. The conference is designed to help brands understand and implement virtual reality and promises hands-on demonstrations, big picture presentations and tried best practices.

December in San Francisco: VRX

(Image courtesy VRX.)

(Image courtesy VRX.)

The VRX event will take place on December 7 and 8 in San Francisco and features High Fidelity founder Philip Rosedale, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, Unity CEO John Riccitiello, and other big-name speakers from HTC Vive, Kite & Lightning, Resolution Games, AMD, CCP Games, Comcast Ventures, Strategy Analytics, Google Ventures, and other companies.

The first day of the conference will cover general topics in virtual reality and predictions for the future. The second day will split in two tracks, one focusing on games and entertainment, and the other on marketing and enterprise applications.

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David Kariuki

David Kariuki is a technology journalist who has a wide range of experience reporting about modern technology solutions. A graduate of Kenya's Moi University, he also writes for Cleanleap, and has previously worked for Resources Quarterly and Construction Review. Email him at [email protected].

7 Responses

  1.' Telos says:

    Is this website strictly about VR now? I remember it used to be active with a lot of commenters, but everyone seems to have disappeared. Anyone know where i can get SL/OS virtual world news instead?

    • I got into this in the first place because I was into VR, and thought OpenSim was the best bet we had for an OpenSim metaverse.

      But progress on OpenSim development seems to have come to an almost complete halt. People are still opening grids and holding social events, but all the actual work seems to have moved on to other platforms. It sucks, I love OpenSim.

      I’d love to see a big crowd-funding project to, say, fix up OpenSim’s back end and build a VR-capable viewer for it, but I can’t find anyone interested in doing it, in organizing it, or, really, in supporting it.

      Current OpenSim users like OpenSim the way it is. Sure, it would be nice to see some minor improvements in capacity or performance — who wouldn’t like to see that? But if people want a VR-capable platform, they can just hop over to AltspaceVR instead, or, if they’re developers, build something in Unity.

      it’s the classic innovators dilemma situation, a disruptive new technology that makes everything that came before it obsolete.

      Frankly, I’m torn. I’ve invested a lot of time in OpenSim, because I honestly thought it was taking us to the VR metaverse. I really want to see an open source, peer-to-peer, fully distributed metaverse, not a centralized, proprietary one. And all the VR platforms out there today are centralized and proprietary. Even High Fidelity, which has an open source code base, has lots of centralized functions. Sure, you need them to get some money back for your investors, but it’s not necessarily the best thing for everyone…

      Maybe it’s just the heat talking — my brain is melting right now in the humidity — but I’m feeling very very tired right now.

      •' Minethereé says:

        I don’t understand “Current OpenSim users like OpenSim the way it is. Sure, it would be nice to see some minor improvements in capacity or performance — who wouldn’t like to see that?” because Melanie’s merge to core is still going on, isn’t it?

        I understand that v.9 will end up being the next public Opensim OS, has this changed?

        As well, from what your own stats report, core OpenSim participation is growing (except for the slight decline in your last report).

        Am I missing something?

        The humidity sure is draining, it is thick as pea soup down in the southeastern part of Texas.

        • I haven’t heard of any dramatic improvements coming to OpenSim — and after several years it’s still officially in beta and hasn’t reached the 1.0 release yet.

          User numbers have been trending upward over time, and that is a good sign. But OpenSim hasn’t hit a point of accelerating growth… I’m seeing VR-related projects counting users in the hundreds of thousands, millions, and tens of millions, and its disheartening.

          •' Minethereé says:

            Yes, I can’t imagine us ever getting those kinds of numbers. Still tho, OpenSim is a good thing, I think anyway.

            There are also many SL people who can be, and are, seeing it…perhaps something will happen for more to try it.

            If not, I will just

      •' XMIR Grid says:

        Unfortunately this is what happens to a lot of open source projects – particularly projects that primarily reverse engineer, or re-implement proprietary successes. (there are many examples).

        For OpenSim to become viable and get out of the stagnation, it needs to look to the mobile space for fuel. This may include, but is not dependent on, VR as seen through 3D goggles.

        It also needs to snap out of the “nobody can make a profit here” meme that essentially kills it.

      •' lmpierce says:

        I would counter that the status of OpenSim adoption is not at all related to the “innovator’s dilemma”. Second Life was the first robust and very popular version of the virtual world paradigm identical in most ways to OpenSim, and that did not fade due to better innovations. People have argued over the politics of Linden Lab, but bottom line is, the novelty of the medium peaked and then the medium faded to a low glow, in terms of mass adoption. No VR technology innovation supplanted Second Life. In that meantime, OpenSim became available and grew as people migrated from Second Life. And to be sure, new users joined OpenSim without ever having used Second Life. But in no way was OpenSim becoming a widely adopted technology by the time VR caught on again with the introduction of the Oculus Rift. Sure, OpenSim had grown and was seeing slow incremental growth by some measures, but VR has not suddenly pushed OpenSim aside. In fact, the millions of people coming down with VR fever have never heard of OpenSim.

        I can understand the shift in focus at Hypergrid Business. After all, it’s good to cover topics that are currently very dynamic, growing, and exciting to – literally – millions of people. That’s a far cry from the situation with OpenSim.

        There is also the uncertainly of the future to consider. VR might actually end up being the spark that eventually draws people “back” to OpenSim, or consider it for the first time. If there was a renewed interest in immersive environments like OpenSim, that would fuel interest in continuing substantial development in the virtual world paradigm. Or maybe not…

        It’s been my observation that most consumers seem to like their media and entertainment in bite-sized chunks. I’m preparing to write an article on a popular 3D VR service, but in a way it’s really not a way to be immersed in a ‘virtual world.’ Rather, it serves up small morsels of 3D immersion at a time, and it’s very popular. Sure, gamers play for hours at a sitting. And many use OpenSim for extended periods of time as well. But that kind of involvement requires an outside means of financial support since most people spend most of their waking hours working at things in the real world, such as a job. But when you think about things like Twitter and Instagram and YouTube and so on, people do have small moments throughout their day to ‘check out’ of reality and enjoy something online and virtual.

        So, I think time and people’s busy schedules has been the critical factor that has held back further interest in virtual worlds like OpenSim. (And yes, there have been other factors as well.) On the other hand, so many of the VR ideas being hyped these days are experiences that come in short bursts, such as window shopping, getting some information about something, seeing a sight, or watching a single ‘whatever’. No wonder the current wave of VR has sparked so much interest. It’s more readily accessible than ever, via smartphones, and doesn’t require ‘building’ an entire environment or spending a lot of time, at a time.