Magnify VR/AR Expo Boosts 30 Speakers in Auckland

The Magnify Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Expo and Business Summit, starting on Sunday at Sky City, Auckland, offers an unprecedented line-up of local and international talent attending, plus a formidable inventory of the latest technology to try.

On Sunday 7th May, the public gets to see and experience the world’s leading technology from local and international companies, including the latest arcade VR gaming machines and HTC Vive rigs.

One of the world’s first Virtual Reality Dome Theatres is a highlight of the event, featuring the short film Samskara by acclaimed US digital artist Android Jones, in partnership with #FulldomeLab plus other content covering astronomy, extreme sports, music arts and culture.

Visitors can try on a Samsung Oculus headset and be transported into another world! Or play a Pokemon Go augmented reality game around the VR Dome and exhibit area – and win! Bring the family down for one day only and experience everything while tickets last!

On Monday 8th May, the Summit begins, opening for breakfast at 7:30 am and the first keynote at 8 am. 30 experts from around the world will speak throughout the day, including 15 from China, Australia and North America. This is a one-time opportunity to see these experts in action and talk about the dramatic changes industry at hand.

Leading the list of keynotes is Richard Taylor II DGA VES, Founder and Creative Director at Eymerce in Los Angeles and Member of the Directors Guild of America – one of the top 10 talents in the world for developments in CGI.

Eymerce is the next entertainment format, theatrical scale VR without a headset, where photo-real, three-dimensional imagery surrounds the viewer. Eymerce eliminates projection and creates reality with hi-resolution stereo LED. In science-fiction it’s called the Holodeck. With the Eymerce format, science fiction is becoming reality.

He is joined by Barry Sandrew Ph.D., serial entrepreneur and Board Member of the Visual Effects Society from San Diego. Sandrew is the founder of Legend 3D, he invented colourisation for film and 3D movie conversion for cinema. Sandrew will discuss the future of VR and AR and explain how CES 2018 will likely define the AR ecosystem that will ultimately attract a huge revenue generating mass market.

Peter Busch, Head of Global Business Development at Image Metrics and Faceware Technologies, from Los Angeles, is the man who brought facial recognition via Augmented Reality Apps into the lives of millions of consumers and professionals worldwide. Facial recognition powers apps like Snapchat, a platform that has just become the most valuable IPO in history. Busch’s most recent projects include the Diehard Fan app, the #1 Free Sports App in the US that allowed 190 million fans in the past year to download and the L’OREAL Make-Up Genius app that made headlines around the world when released in 2016 with more than 30 million downloads. Busch also runs Faceware Technologies, a professional product line that enables content creation for all forms of media, including VR.

Moderator Ted Cohen, Managing Partner of TAG Strategic, is a tech futurist from Los Angeles and sought-after international speaker. He was dubbed ‘part ambassador and part evangelist’ during his tenure as Senior Vice President of Digital Development & Distribution at EMI Music, where he was instrumental in crafting the licensing agreements upon which the iTunes Music Store and Rhapsody subscription services were built, along with Microsoft, Real Networks, Rhapsody, Virgin Mobile, Motorola, Nokia and Verizon.

Another keynote will be from Madhu Athreya from HP, director of imaging and computer vision within HP’s emerging computer labs. He leads media research in computer vision, deep learning, immersive audio and ambient computing applications in smart-surfaces.

Pat Hull, from Richmond, Virginia is a serial entrepreneur who transformed the trucking sector with geo-location technology. Hull has investments in more than 30 companies that span a variety of industries, including Augmented Reality, technology, entertainment, real estate, restaurants, energy, finance, insurance, and mobile applications.

New Zealand-based speakers include: Mike Fitzgerald, Head of Emerging Technologies at Air New Zealand, responsible for the airline’s digital platform and Melanie Langlotz, founder of Geo AR Games, who uses Geospatial Augmented Reality to get kids off the couch and active outside.

Andy Symons, Innovation Partner at PWC will talk about AR/VR in Financial Services Sector; Samantha Ramlu, Managing Director of Method talks about bringing stories to life and creating interactive experiences; Lewis Billinghurst, Head of Ventures at Westpac Bank will talk about innovation in traditional environments; and Craig Pearce, Digital Manager at the New Zealand Fire Service talks about their first 360 degree VR production.

Flight Centre, Managing Director David Coombes will talk about being the first retailer in New Zealand and Australia to put in VR headsets into retail locations so travellers can discover destinations before purchase.

Panel topics include: How to sell AR/VR to your Boss; Facial Recognition keynote, How did they achieve 300 million downloads?; Top Hollywood creators from California/Media, How does the finance industry use AR/VR; Tourism opportunities for AR/VR and case studies of actual projects; Gaming discussions and new releases; China keynote includes how to tackle the largest market in the world: Investment opportunities in AR/VR and how you can pitch your company and raise capital – everything you need to know to succeed in this sector!

“The Summit line-up is incredible and is essential participation for anyone wanting to hear how AR/VR is going to present opportunities and disrupt industries in the near future,” says Tom Reidy

“People in film and media, event creators, businesses involved in travel and tourism, design and architecture, transport and infrastructure planners, service industries, education, entertainment and more – all should make the journey to Magnify on the 7th and 8th May.”

Tickets are on sale at $399 per head or Student rate of $150 for access to both days, or individuals and families can attend the public day from $25 per head or $45 for a family pass. Tickets from Eventfinda

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