Virtual Reality London #8 or VRLO-8 was the biggest yet with over 500 people attending and a spanking new logo to show off.

For a meetup that only started a few years ago (by the brilliant VR agency REWIND), VRLO is now the biggest meetup in the country.

There was the usual great selection of demonstrations from associated VR companies both large and very small. One company that caught my eye was DualGoodHealth showing great use of the Vive Trackers and an intelligent dummy (mmm, oxymoron?) to allow very realistic CPR training to be carried out.

The format this time was a little different from the usual VRLO set-up with the introduction of round-table discussions instead of the usual guest speakers. Attendees were able to choose 3 discussions to take part in with everyone moving on to another table after 10 minutes. This was not speed dating it was speed updating. With around 8 people per table, there was not really enough time for a decent discussion to really get going, but the idea definitely had merit.

The discussions were as follows:

  • How can VR improve our working lives? – J’aimee Skippon-Volke, Festival Director of Byron Bay Film Festival
  • Will AR kill VR? – Greg Furber, VR Director, REWIND
  • Is VR a political and ethical minefield? – Rowland Manthorpe, Associate Editor, Wired
  • Funding and finance for immersive technologies – Fiona Kilkelly, Immerse UK
  • How brands are scaling immersive experiences – Damien Collier, Founder & CEO, Blend Media
  • How can we design VR for museums/attractions? – Phil Stuart, Co-founder & Creative Director, Preloaded
  • Is social integration crucial for immersive technologies to reach the mainstream? – Josh McNorton, Festival Producer & Curator, Riverside Studios
  • VR for children: positive effects and concerns – Karen Boswell, Head of Innovations, adamandeveDDB
  • Outdoor AR in the wild – Ed Miller, Co-founder & CEO, Scrape Technologies

Chloe from rewind writes:

We had a fantastic response, with over 500 attendees coming through the doors and 21 exhibitors across 2 floors entertaining guests with the latest VR, AR and MR demos. It was amazing to see so many potential applications for immersive technologies, including CPR training, a virtual safari, broadcast quality 360 VR streaming, a multi-person 360 degree cylinder and an incredible VR music video experience!

We also introduced a new feature for the 8th instalment of VRLO: roundtable discussions hosted by some of the industry’s most exciting creators. Guests had the chance to sit down for an intimate chat, and discuss everything from how brands are scaling immersive experiences, to funding and finance, outdoor AR in the wild, the effects of VR on children and the political and ethical concerns that come with it.

We want to extend a HUGE thank you to our sponsors, who make sure we’re able to keep VRLO as a free, community-driven event; AMD, Blend Media, Immerse, Bluegfx and Epic Games. And thank you to 8 Northumberland, who kindly let us host VRLO at their amazing venue!

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