Back in April thousands landed in Bristol from across the globe for the biggest virtual reality conference in Europe – VR World Congress (VWRC).

The event, which is in its third year, showcased virtual, augmented and mixed reality technology as well as speakers specialising in some of the most advanced virtual reality technologies from the South West and beyond.

It was an event that was not to be missed. So, for those who did, you’ll be pleased to know that you can now catch up on many of the talks and panels via the VRWC YouTube channel.

Particularly impressive was the conference’s high-tech highlights video which you can see below:


You can also check out some of TechSPARK’s highlight talks, featuring some of the South West’s most innovative virtual reality tech as well as VR’s global stars, below:

Trying To Connect – Daniel Efergan, Aardman


Daniel Efergan is the Group Creative Director of Digital at Bristol-based Aardman Animations. His talk dissected Aardman projects to look at how emotional connections between audience and story are established in VR, and how genuine mastery of this new medium is a long way off.


The importance of touch: Mid-air haptic feedback for VR & AR – Tom Carter, Ultrahaptics

Touch is essential for VR and AR experiences to feel real and respond intuitively to users’ interactions. Haptics allow us to feel immersed in our activities, feel in control of our actions and feel connected to the virtual environment and social interactions they enable. Tom Carter, the Founder of Bristol-based Ultrahaptics, discussed how the company’s incredible haptics technology provides this new level of immersion.

UWE: Learning in 3D: making education more real and inclusive – Dr MariCarmen Gil Ortega


Maria, a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England spoke about the design of virtual learning experiences and the affordances of immersive 3D virtual world environments for education and training.


Panel: VR Finance – Startup to Scaleup ft. TLT, BFI, Immerse UK, Accelerated Digital Ventures, Business West

Featuring specialists from across the South West including local investor Andy Mulvenna, Phillip Tellwright – an Innovation Specialist at Business West – and Jon Gill – a Corporate Partner at Bristol-based tech law specialists TLT – to name just a few, this panel was brought together to discuss the important matter of funding. Topics included financing options available at the moment and the trends that investors and the government are keen to explore.


Practical advice for optimising for mobile VR – Lukas Roper, Good Sport Games

Lukas, a Bristol-based freelance VR Developer at Good Sport Games, used his talk to give practical advice gained from personal experiences, detailing tips and tricks for optimising mobile VR. There’s plenty of advice to give, but his talk focusses on how to actually use that advice in real-life situations.


Creating magical experiences: Behind the scenes with Google Daydream and Warner Bros Fantastic Beasts VR – Resh Sidhu, Framestore


Framestore VR took fans of the wizarding world on a Fantastic Beasts virtual reality experience in the most immersive mobile VR experience built exclusively for Google Daydream. Resh Sidhu, Creative Director VR Studio, shared the lessons learned, the creative process from concept to reality and the challenges and solutions they found to deliver this award-winning experience.


Pokemon Go 2.0: Next gen localisation for AR – Ed Miller, Scape AR


Over the past few years, AR content creators have been limited to creating ‘marker-based’ AR experiences, using toolsets such as Vuforia or ARToolkit. In this session Ed – an interactive imagery specialist at Scape AR – walked the audience through a new tool for creating city-scale AR content, allowing developers and creatives to truly bring the virtual world to life.

VR’s Out-of-home Opportunity – Kevin Williams, KWP


Kevin, Founder of out-of-home interactive entertainment consultancy KWP Ltd, spoke about the possibilities for VR to grow outside of the home.


Panel: Reaching out: the importance of touch in VR


This panel explored the part haptics must play in the future of truly immersive, interactive experiences. From tactile experiences to kinesthesis, the panel covered the information that a sense of touch can give the user, what current technologies can do to simulate this information and how they see haptics being brought to virtual worlds in the future.


Designing for VR/AR – Mary Cassin, Google


Mary graduated from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2016 with a major in game art and design. She interned at Intel developing an augmented reality prototype for their RealSense camera and now works at Google in their VR department, Daydream, as a user experience engineer. Her talk covered the technical and design limitations of VR and AR and how to overcome those challenges.

Check out the full list of 2017 speakers and panels on the VR World Congress website and take a look at all the recorded talks on the VR World Congress YouTube channel. You can also stay up to date with plans for VRWC 2018 and more by following them on Twitter here: @VRWorldCongress.

Alice Whale