VR Village at Siggraph 2015

July 30, 2015 1:09 am

Tags: Siggraph 2015, Virtual Reality, VR, VR Village

The VR Village will make its debut at SIGGRAPH 2015, the annual interdisciplinary educational experience and conference on the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques. From live performances, demonstrations and moderated talks with industry experts, to virtual and augmented realities—that include programs such as Nomadic Virtual Reality (VR), Tabletop Augmented Reality (AR) and a Full-Dome Cinema—the VR Village expects SIGGRAPH attendees to witness the potential of the virtual reality industry.

Denise Quesnel is the 2015 VR Village program co-chair. At Emily Carr University of Art + Design's S3D Centre in Vancouver, Canada, she works as a Researcher. Quesnel researches immersive content creation and virtual reality, where she executes experiments around cognition and perception with immersion techniques. Quesnel is a researcher of immersive content creation and virtual reality, where she executes experiments around cognition and perception with immersion techniques. She is recognized as a leading authority in post-production and R&D for VR, stereoscopic 3D, high frame-rate/large-format content and 360-degree video. A co-founder of the Canada Chapter of the Advanced Imaging Society, Quesnel is also a board member of several CG, VR and S3D organizations around the world.

Quesnel recalls that her first encounter with immersive technology was in a theme park. She likes to use the phrase “virtual reality” as an overarching term to describe all the different kinds of experiences in the industry, as all the different sub-groups in VR are colliding. She’s thinking the VR industry is headed in a direction where people are going to become less focused on the hardware, and more focused on the tools that can be used with a creative methodology to surprise and amaze consumers.

The element of immersive mediums that I love is how it is always something new,” said Quesnel. “Cognition, perception and behavior are all uniquely impacted by virtual reality in ways we’re still trying to understand. The artistic and scientific positive outcomes that are emerging are phenomenal.”

Despite academics and researchers keeping it alive, Virtual Reality is still in an exploratory phase. As VR becomes more prevalent, Quesnel explained, “Everyone in the VR community wants to interact with each other in unique ways and learn more about VR. Certain VR environments can provide a strong empathy response, social interaction and awe. The VR Village is a place that was created to respond to this yearning by the community to unite.”

The VR Village will feature AR/VR programming that have been created and optimized just for SIGGRAPH attendees. With a diverse range of immersive games, stories, cinema shorts and real-world applications, the VR Village will provide a unique opportunity for insight from content creators and developers.

Quesnel noted, “What an incredible treat it would be to be able to try some new VR experiences while standing beside the creator. Our partners are excited to interact with attendees and see their creations through the eyes of the attendees. The atmosphere is going to be electric, and I’m very excited to witness this. The VR industry reflects this same energy, because it’s an area where people aren’t afraid to explore and create something that is so experimental and imaginative. I don’t think the industry has seen this type of energy in a while, so it is extremely welcomed.”

With sit-down, head-mounted displays, stand-up head-mounted displays, nomadic (untethered) head-mounted displays, augmented reality and full-dome projections in an immersive dome, the VR Village boasts an eclectic and diverse volume of activities. Co-chairs Quesnel and Ed Lantz curated the custom content so that attendees can be pulled from one area to the next, and not see the same thing twice.

The VR Village will also host a series of moderated talks. The theme of these talks will center around “VR: Creating at the Edge.” Speakers include executives from Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, Sony’s PlayStation Magic Lab, Emblematic Group and Jaunt Studios.

SIGGRAPH 2015 VR Village highlights include: Experience | Programs

The VR Village is a virtual screening room for cutting-edge VR, AR and Immersive Media programming.

  • Nomadic VR Arena: A walk-about space that allows participants to freely explore immersive virtual environments with untethered headsets.

    • Programming includes: Real Virtuality: Immersive Explorers – Multiple users explore the recreated interior of a pharaoh’s tomb while interacting with 3D objects and other users; C.A.P.E. (Computer Assisted Personal Environment) – C.A.P.E. is a configuration developed by CREW, EDM/UHasselt and Dreamspace with which people can move and walk the “immersant” experiences of the virtual world from your own body; Holojam – Share a virtual space and see each other as stylized avatars; draw shapes in the air with a magic wand and contribute to 3D sculptural artwork.

  • Head-Mounted Display Stations: Attendees can experience the latest in VR and AR programming in sit-down and stand-up stations.

    • Programming includes: Neuro – A VR journey through the brain of world-renown musician Reuben Wu; LoVR – A story of love told through neural activity captured over four seconds; Experience two lovers when they see each other for the first time.

  • Immersion Dome: The dome is a 360-degree screening room for the world’s best visualization and cinema storytelling.

    • Programming includes: Dynamic Earth: Coronal Mass Ejection and Ocean/Wind Circulation – Follow energy from the sun towards the earth; where atmosphere and oceans are explored; Immersive Visualizations from the California Academy of Sciences – Experience the 1906 San Francisco earthquake; explore the earth’s ecosystems over the millennia.

Quesnel added, “SIGGRAPH has historically been a catalyst for VR, its elements, technology and methodology. It’s been a natural fit as those working in VR are embedded within computer graphics, academia, interactive graphics and experiences, technical innovation, film and gaming—all of which have a vibrant home in SIGGRAPH and in VR.”

Real Virtuality is a multi-user immersive platform combining motion capture with VR headsets: the users can freely move within the physical space while virtually visiting the recreated interior of a pharaoh’s tomb and interacting with 3D objects or other users using the sense of touch


SIGGRAPH is the world's largest conference on computer graphics, and is attended by tens of thousands of computer graphics professionals. SIGGRAPH 2015 will be held from August 9–13, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California.

SIGGRAPH is one of the most highly respected venues for the presentation of new computer graphics technology and research. For more information about SIGGRAPH 2015, go to http://s2015.siggraph.org/.




Related Articles: