XRDC | VR / AR Innovation Track

Innovation in AR / VR / MR Conference Track

Learn from experts breaking ground on the frontier of XR development in the Innovation Track. Hear in-depth lectures and panels illustrating how augmented, virtual, and mixed reality has the power to influence how we connect and engage with the world around us. Be inspired by innovative applications of immersive experiences across industries including construction, retail & commercial, industrial design, and more.

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Past Event Session Highlights

How AR is Transforming the Building and Construction Industries
Scott Montgomerie (Scope AR)

The construction, building and utilities industries have at times been slow to adopt technology in the past, sometimes even called "old fashioned". However, they are quickly becoming breakout success stories for applications in AR, and the construction and utilities spaces are ripe with opportunity to take advantage and lead the adoption of this technology. In this session, Scott Montgomerie, co-founder/CEO/CTO of Scope AR, will take a case study approach to show how high-caliber organizations including Caterpillar Inc., Martin Bros. and others are changing how their organizations work around employee training, collaboration, machinery repair, troubleshooting and diagnosing problems, and more through innovative uses of augmented reality. He will also discuss how AR tools can automatically collect data and provide actionable insights, resulting in improved comprehension, efficiency and knowledge retention for enterprises.

Grounded Mixed Reality: Avoiding the Sticker Effect
John Austin (A Stranger Gravity)

AR is in limbo: fundamentally powerful, but always in the shadow of its older sibling VR. This talk discusses the creation of "grounded" mixed reality experiences: those that become a part of real world, and strive to bypass the "sticker effect" endemic to much of the current AR field. Head of Studio, John Austin, reflects and breaks down how A Stranger Gravity has approached designing grounded mixed reality, building spaces that are neither virtual or real, but somewhere in between.

Why Virtual Reality and Machine Learning are Good for Science
Aldis Sipolins (IBM Research)

Presence lets researchers study how people naturally think and act outside the lab, and this is a goldmine for human research. This talk gives a first look at cutting-edge research using machine learning to enhance memory in VR. Subjects play a color memory game while sensors (brain activity, eye-tracking, heartrate) record data, and personalized machine learning models use this sensor data to predict memory. A follow-up study seeks to enhance memory in real-time and uncover the neural signature of presence. This talk covers the basics of machine learning, cognitive neuroscience, and the psychology of presence as they apply to VR.

The Science and Engineering of Redirected Walking
Mahdi Azmandian (Mixed Reality Lab, USC Institute for Creative Technologies)

Redirected walking is a perceptual illusion that tackles the challenge of exploring large virtual environments within a small tracked space. This talk will take a comprehensive look at both what this approach is in theory and how it is deployed in practice. The session will also introduce the Redirected Walking Toolkit: an open-source collection of scientifically proven redirection techniques designed to be deployed with minimal development overhead.

Designing Interactions for 3DoF VR Motion Controllers
Basheer Tome (Google)
Adam Glazier (Google)

Come learn how to design intuitive and delightful interactions with 3DoF motion controllers. The team that designed the original Daydream VR motion controller will share insights about how it was developed, what interaction models were expected, and which best practices have emerged in a year on the market.

How VR Will Go Mainstream: The History of VR and Where It's Going
Tony Parisi (Unity Technologies)

Tony will provide context around the history of VR, why the industry is where it is now and where it's going. He'll look at what's different in terms of high-level adoption factors; then discuss the current state of the industry and interesting trends (consumer and enterprise, VR and AR, desktop and mobile). With AR heating up, Tony will talk about the compelling ways VR and AR intersect, as well as give a peak into what's next and how it will propel VR into the mainstream.

Immersive Medical Care with VR/AR and Virtual Humans
Arno Hartholt (USC Institute for Creative Technologies)

VR/AR offers unique capabilities for health related research and treatment, not only because it allows interactive, multisensory, immersive environments tailored to a patient's needs, but also because it allows clinicians to control, document, and measure patient responses. A notable example is 'Bravemind', a VR exposure therapy tool used to assess and treat PTSD. VR/AR can be combined with virtual human technology to create powerful experiences. Virtual humans, autonomous agents who interact with real humans both verbally and non-verbally, can benefit the medical field in numerous areas, including training and education. In this session, examples will be discussed in terms of their design, development and effectiveness.

Mixed Reality for Space Exploration
Nathaniel Guy (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

At the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, developers are building a number of different applications that use mixed and virtual reality to change the way NASA explores space and sees the world. Using MR/VR applications, JPL's scientists and engineers can plan activities for the Mars Curiosity rover and analyze Martian geology while walking on a 3D reconstruction of the Martian surface. Engineers designing rovers and spacecraft can preview full-scale holographic prototypes before any parts are built. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station can use MR interfaces to receive virtual assistance from experts on the ground and work more efficiently. Other MR/VR projects support viewing Earth science data visualizations, robotic cave exploration, and more. This talk will present recent projects that leverage immersive technology to tackle unique visualization and interaction challenges, and discuss research that shows the beneficial effects of using MR to accomplish these tasks.