Upcoming VR Events in NYC and Beyond / by Rosana Vidal

We had a wonderful time at Tuesday night’s Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival in Dumbo. If you haven’t tried this technology, we can’t stress enough how incredible it is. As we await the arrival of the final consumer version of the Oculus Rift in 2016, VR enthusiasts are gathering all over New York and across the country to discuss the latest business, social, medical, and entertainment applications of Virtual Reality. Here’s a roundup of VR events happening in the coming weeks:



Events in New York City


Meetup: Virtual Reality NYC


Various Locations

The Virtual Reality NYC meetup is a community of people interested in the development and application of virtual reality technology. Get together with like-minded New yorkers to discuss business, social and medical applications of VR. Product developers, investors, entrepreneurs, and all those interested in VR are welcome. Join the Meetup.com group for details on the location and time of upcoming events.


Azimyth Immersive Lounge at the Architecture & Design Film Festival

October 13 - 18, all day

Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas

Open to everyone attending the Architecture & Design Film Festival, the Azimyth Immersive lounge will feature four virtual reality experiences curated by the ADFF and the Azimyth Creation Studio. The experiences will transport audiences to new worlds and demonstrate the future of collaborative design. Attendees will wear Google Cardboard of Oculus Rift Headsets to view three of the four short films. Tickets for the film festival are available online and can be purchased at the door.


Hearst Immersive Hack

October 24 - 25

Made in NY Media Center by IFP

This 36 hour hackathon will use the latest immersive technology including augmented reality and virtual reality. The fresh code challenge will allow hackers to bring their ideas to create something unique using AR and VR, and the start-up challenge will allow participants to integrate the Hearst API and immersive technology into an existing business plan. Hackers will have access to the latest tools from companies such as Oculus, Microsoft, and Samsung in addition to APIs from Hearst and other sponsors. Register to compete as an individual or team on Eventbrite.


Pivot Virtual Reality Showcase

October 27, 6 - 9pm

The Dream Hotel Downtown

Learn how your brand and organization can take advantage of VR to offer customers a fully immersive experience. Try out the Oculus Rift, Samsung VR Gear, Microsoft Hololens, and more. The first 100 guests will leave with a complimentary Google Cardboard. You can sign up to participate in the showcase, or RSVP on Eventbrite to attend.  


Virtual Reality and Homesharing Experience: Redefining The Way We Travel

November 2, 7 - 9pm

Location TBA

A panel of experts on homesharing will discuss how virtual reality will change the way we travel, just as Airbnb, HomeExchange, and Couchsurfing have done over the past few years. Time will be dedicated to trying out Google Cardboard and Samsung VR experiences made to simulate traveling to different destinations.


Exploring Future Reality

November 5, 8:30am - 12:30pm

NYC Media Lab

This half-day event will feature over two dozen speakers delivering talks and interactive demos on Virtual Reality. The discussion will focus on the impact of VR and augmented reality on the media and tech industries, as well as best practices for VR and AR storytelling, production, and distribution. Speakers include professors, startup founders, and corporate media lab technologists. Tickets are available online, and corporate members of NYC Media Lab receive complimentary admission.


Class: Getting Started with Virtual Reality - Oculus Rift + Unity

November 12, 6:30 - 8:30pm

Learn how to integrate Oculus Rift into Unity as you build a basic environment to be explored in virtual reality. This hands-on class will show you where to get the necessary tools and teach you best practices for building a compelling VR game. You’ll go through code samples and sample files, and practice building a space in Unity that can be explored with the Oculus Rift. The class will conclude with a Q&A with the instructor. Bring a laptop with Unity 5 or higher installed, your Oculus Rift (if you have one), and register online to attend.


Events in the Northeastern US


Virtual Reality Hackathon and Workshop

October 17 - 18

Boston, MA

An intro to Unity3D session will kick off this hackathon to help developers and designers get acquainted with VR. Throughout the rest of the weekend, participants will attend talks, build new skills, and meet other developers. Experts from the Boston VR community will be onsite to assist with your development. Mobile developers, front end/back end developers, as well as designers, graphic artists, and sound artists are welcome. Register on Eventbrite to attend.


Free Talk: VirZOOM

November 5, 6:30 - 7:30pm

Cambridge, MA

Each month, Playcrafting Boston brings in local game developers to give talks on game development, ideas, and standards. In November, Eric Malafeew will discuss the VR games and new controller made by the startup VirZOOM. This Harvard Square-based startup uses intuitive activity on a bicycle controller that creates parallel motion in a virtual world - pedalling and steering are means of propelling yourself through the VR experience. Register on Eventbrite to attend.


Events in the US


The Future of Immersive Tech: Demos & Drinks

October 8, 7 - 9pm

Santa Monica, CA

This demo will showcase the hottest AR and VR companies in LA. Companies include Radiant Images, V, HTML Fusion, AIO Robotics, and Two Bit Circus. Attendance is free - RSVP in advance to guarantee your spot.


The Kaleidoscope VR Film Festival

October 14, 8 - 11pm

Austin, Texas

Celebrate the pioneers of virtual reality filmmaking with an evening of artist presentations, VR demos, and engaging discussions. You’ll be able to experience 20 carefully curated VR experiences on Gear VR and Oculus Rift headsets. Tickets are available online, and VIPs will be able to enter one hour early and skip any line throughout the evening to demo VR films.


Digital LA - Women in VR

October 19, 7 - 9pm

Playa Vista, CA

This panel discussion will explore how to increase the number of women in the VR community. The panel of experts will discuss action steps including hiring and recruiting, social groups and networking, mentorship, and creating content that appeals to women. Speakers and attendees will then brainstorm ideas and create action steps. Tickets are available online.


Wisconsin Science Festival - Experience Virtual Reality

October 22 - 24

Madison, WI

Schedule a 30-minute visit to the CAVE, a 10’ x 10’ x 10’ cube that will immerse you in different interactive virtual environments. You can also learn about the Living Environments Lab’s research projects, and see the winning virtual environment from the 2015 Model This! Contest. This event is free to attend, but you must register to schedule your 30-minute time slot.


SEA-VR 2015

October 28, 9:30am - 7pm

Bellevue, WA

SEA-VR is a unique opportunity to connect with the VR and AR communities in the Northwest. This year’s showcase will include a full day of keynotes, breakout sessions, and more than 40 exhibitors. Conference attendees will include developers, content creators, software architects, researchers, businesses, investors, and more. Register by October 9 to reserve an early bird ticket and save $95.


VR for Entertainment Panel

October 29, 6:30pm

Los Angeles, CA

Digital LA organizes weekly panels and mixers for digital professionals, including startup CEOs, VCs and investors, and more. This panel will discuss VR projects related to film and TV, how the projects develop, and what it’s like to work with talent and assets. After the panel, there will be a Back to the Future theme party, with rooms themed to the 50s, 80s, and the future. Tickets are available online.


SFVR #11: Virtual Reality Showcase

November 3, 7 - 11pm

San Francisco, CA

Join over 600 VR developers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts to try the newest VR technology, learn from pioneers in the field, and meet other members of the VR community. The showcase will feature demos from FlickrVR, Project Hypnos, LucidCam, Incendiary Games, and more. Tickets are available online.


It’s exciting to see facets of the VR community coming together all over the country - let us know if we left out any events you plan to attend. If you’re able to travel to the events in other cities, we’d love to hear about it when you return to New York.