Day one of the Unity Vision VR/AR Summit is underway. The keynote speaker lineup was stacked with representatives from some of the biggest players in VR. Here’s a quick rundown of what was said by each of the ten presenters.
John Riccitiello, CEO, Unity Technologies
The boss man at Unity kicked things off by reminding everyone that, yes, VR is going to be massive. A revolution. There will be a billion consumers in VR and AR in the next five to ten years. But he was also a little worried people are getting their hopes too high, too soon. And that when mass adoption doesn’t come as quickly as some analysts and oracles have forecasted and prophecized, he fears a great a gap of disappointment will be torn open by scavenging journalists waiting to say they told us so.
Clay Bavor, Vice President of Virtual Reality at Google
Bavor pointed out that both Google Cardboard and Unity have surpassed the five million user mark. As such the two companies figured they should, you know, hang out. His first announcement was that every element of the Google Design Lab would now be open sourced and available for free on Github (link coming soon).
The second announcement was that native support for Google Cardboard will be coming soon to Unity, where they’ll join Oculus, SteamVR, Gear VR, and Playstation VR. Finally, Bavor announced that a phone capable of running Project Tango would become available this year in a partnership with Lenovo.
Dr. Richard Marks, Director, PlayStation Magic Lab
Dr. Marks is both a Rocket Scientist and a Computer Scientist. His announcement on behalf of Playstation was that games are going to big for VR.
Gabe Newell, Founder, Valve
Folks were originally a little disappointed that Newell didn’t attend the event in person. He was, however, quickly forgiven after this announcement:
All the developers at the Vision Summit get their own Vive. You get a Vive. You get a Vive. You get a Vive. We’re very excited to see what you guys come up with and we hope you enjoy your new Vives.
Joachim Ante, CTO, Unity Technologies
Ante personally wrote the first line of code for Unity and according to an estimation by Riccitiello, half the code since. He announced changes made to cut rendering time in half.
Timoni West, Principal Designer, Unity Labs
West showed off Unity’s new native creation tool. She strapped on a Rift and showed the crowd how we can all now create VR in VR.
Dr. Jeff Norris, Mission Operations Innovation Lead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dr. Norris reminded everyone that our silly little VR science projects aren’t the future. That NASA has been doing this stuff since we were in diapers.
Alex McDowell RDI, Director, World Building Media Lab
McDowell has been on the narrative side of VR longer than just about anyone. He worked on both Lawnmower Man and Minority Report. In the keynote, he shared his views on world building as a design process and walked everyone through Project Leviathan, the mixed reality experience he’s been working on at the World Building Media Lab. We got the chance to check it out just before the keynote.
Palmer Luckey, Founder, Oculus
In the unfortunate position of following Gabe Newell’s Oprah moment, Luckey sat down for a one-on-one with Riccitiello. He said 90% of Gear VR games were built in Unity and announced that every consumer version of the Oculus Rift will come with a four months of Unity Pro for free.
Dr. Michael Capps
The ex-president of Epic Games got up and closed things out with a group picture.