CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 12, 2017) - Virtual and augmented reality burst onto the digital media radar in 2014 -- fueled by the breathtaking $2 billion acquisition of startup Oculus VR by Facebook; the introduction of affordable, smartphone based Google Cardboard VR, and the rapid emergence of numerous other players from new startups to video game heavyweights. The technology was embraced with excitement over its great potential.
Today, however, as with many new technologies, some pundits suggest VR and AR are mostly hype. Some question whether a true market for the technology even exists.
How are entrepreneurs assessing this space? How are startups and established players alike leveraging demand and overcoming obstacles in order to capitalize on current and future opportunities? What business models are likely to take hold?
Are we a step away from Star Trek's "holodeck?" Is the market, technology and business model sufficiently primed and ready for transformational growth?
On May 3 the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge (MITEF) Innovation Series, along with the Boston VR Meetup and the Boston AR Meetup, will host a deep dive into the reality of augmented, virtual and mixed reality. Set for 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at MIT's Bartos Theater, the evening will feature insights from early stage entrepreneurs to established large market cap players creating VR applications, hardware and development support systems as well as the experts who finance and write about this new digital medium. Attendees will also have an opportunity to try out some of the latest VR/AR hardware systems and software, including VirZoom and HoloLens applications.
"Driving innovation in gaming, therapies, training and more, augmented and virtual reality have the potential to change how we see the world," said Katja Wald, executive director of MITEF Cambridge. "In fact, it can transport us to new places we may never see otherwise. The use of AR/VR goes well beyond entertainment and many of the leaders driving this revolution are right here in the Boston area. We're excited to bring many of the most influential people in this community together to discuss where the market is today, where it's going and how we're likely to get there."
Presenting AR/VR leaders include:
- Gavin Bauman, technical evangelist, Microsoft
- Sarah Downey, principal, Accomplice VC
- Ross Finman, CEO and founder, AR Spirit
- Neil Gupta, VR/AR enthusiast and a key organizer of the Boston AR and VR Meetup groups
- Justin Lutz, lead innovation technologist, The Primacy Group
- Eric Malafeew, co-founder and CTO, Virzoom
- Josh Weaver, engineer, Google Daydream
The session will conclude with a networking reception and technology showcase.
Bartos Theater, MIT Weisner Building (E15), 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, Mass.
5:30 - 6:00 p.m - Registration and networking
6:00 - 8:00 p.m. - Welcome, company pitches and panel discussion
8:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Networking and technology showcase
To register and for more information: http://www.mitforumcambridge.org/event/whats-real-vrar/
Follow MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge @mitefcmb
Sponsors supporting this event include CHEN PR; Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds; Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton; Withum.com and Wolf Greenfield.
About The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge
The MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge is the founding chapter and one of 27 worldwide chapters comprising the MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. Offering more than 40 programs and events annually that inspire innovation, MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge initiatives facilitate critical one-on-one mentoring while providing team services that increase the skills and expertise necessary for entrepreneurs to succeed.