Skip to main content

The surreal SVVR (Silicon Valley virtual Reality Expo)


I was invited to speak at Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Expo (SVVR) this time. SVVR (Silicon Valley Virtual Reality) is a community-focused industry organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of a healthy, diverse Virtual Reality ecosystem. SVVR is unique in a sense that they are a pure industrial conference. Almost everybody who has been dabbling in virtual reality technology turns up here to showcase, learn and to collaborate.
The SILICON VALLEY VR EXPO is our main event each year. Over the past 4 years, the annual SILICON VALLEY VR EXPO has grown become the premier international VR industry conference & expo serving ALL VERTICALS affected by VR and related technologies. We are a PURE industry conference, created by VR insiders passionate about advancing the technology and the industry. Our focus on VR professionals makes SVVR THE BEST NETWORKING EVENT IN VR.

This year the event took place at San Jose convention center from 29th to 31st March. What surprised me was how big the event was and how broad the participation was at the venue. I could literally feel the energy of all the people around me. The conference was divided into two parts. One had simultaneous talks going on throughout the day. And in another part, they had an open room with all the expo set up, where everyone was showcasing what they built.
This I particularly thought was cool because it kept a clear segregation between the talks and the expo. We could pick anyone of them to attend and not get distracted by the other compared to some other conferences where you have booths scattered around in the same place as the talks are going on.


There were some truly inspiring keynotes. Tony Parisi (Unity Technologies), Nonny de la Peña (Emblematic Group), Rikard Steiber (HTC), Kent Bye (Voices of VR) delivered the keynote. And then followed by a host of other great sessions. Apart from the sessions one of the distinguishing features of the conference was Discussion Panels. It provided a lot of insight to what the VR community is thinking and how they envision VR to be successful. 

What was surprising and eye-opener for me was, how interested people were in Aframe. There were atleast 5 talks I attended myself where they had slides, either talking about or comparing aframe and what WebVR is capable of. 

What it means to be in an immersive web. 
How Aframe differs and similarities between it and X3DOM
Josh Talking about the pillars of Web-based VR experience

How Altspace VR works by utilizing aframe stack at its backend
Always nice when Altspace guys talk about Aframe and how it helped them scale

I had my session on the second day, and immediately after Josh Carpenter, who started at Mozilla VR team and now leads Google's VR UI team. From the overall atmosphere I could gather there was a lot of interest regarding aframe and webvr. And it was more exciting when Josh redirected the A-frame questions by introducing me and the talk.

The talk itself went pretty well. The audience was highly technical so most of the questions I received revolved a lot around specific bugs in implementation or specific issues that people have now with Aframe, including pain points. Especially it seemed performance is taking a center stage for WebVR.

The audience reaction was phenomenal. A-frame Inspector seemed to be very popular among everybody. Sarah from Unity 
Corvus VR:
They also liked the educational aspects of GuriVR
And it seemed the multi-user demo of Aframe was really well received
The talk generated a lot of discussion afterwords. Among everyone who got in touch with me was Snapdragon. I was little surprised to learn that Snapdragon was interested and investing in creating a core dedicated to VR processing. He was mostly interested in the benchmark demo I showed for gesture recognition in Augmented Reality which I was happily showing around. I also met with IBM Watson team and Unity who were interested in different aspects of the demo.


The expo was another thing to behold. This was one of my most engaging, fun and awesome expo I have experienced. Almost all the virtual reality companies I knew about were there along with a lot of new I had never heard about.

I managed to play a virtual reality archer game, a real life Tekken (though I spent most of my time actually taking video of other player playing it). Then there was quite a few room scale or maybe I should call arena scale games with mounted computers, head-mounted displays and full-size guns in your hand. Where you step into another dimension and shoot floating objects.

On the right side I am trying to shoot down virtual enemies. That gun has force feedback, haptic and vibration enabled. It was pretty cool. Not to mention I was carrying a full-blown customized computer in my back which I presume was powering the whole game and making it multiplayer.


One of the most useful discussions for me was the meeting of Khronos group. The  openxr panel  was "Converging Toward a Standard for Virtual Reality APIs". The motto of discussion was tThese are the early days of VR (let alone AR and MR), which presents both opportunity and challenge for developers, hardware manufacturers, and users. Currently, there are two open API standards, and several proprietary ones, with fundamental enough differences to provide unnecessary hurdles for developers, as well as engines. The OpenXR initiative is a coming together of the people behind these different standards with a common goal of finding a way to remove these obstacles and improve everyone’s experience. The session was moderated by Kaye Mason, who is a senior software engineer at Google and the API Lead for Google Daydream, as well as working on graphics and distortion. She is also the Specification Editor for the Khronos OpenXR standard.


The others who attended, comprised of Christopher Peri, Director at Samsung Research America. His work mostly is on 3D and VR starting with the VFX1 back in 1995 including teaching a class on VRML.


Yuval Bogar (“VRguy”) joined Sensics in 2006 to help take VR from the lab to the market.

Lubosz Sarnecki is a Senior Software Engineer at Collabora and VR enthusiast since the DK1 days. Working on accelerating the adoption of Open Source software in a wide array of industries, Lubosz has been actively involved with the Open Source community, and especially the GStreamer multimedia framework, since 2011.


Last but not least is David Frerichs has been involved in virtual reality and 3D graphics for over 25 years, including securing patents on virtual reality head tracking and shipping the first consumer HMD. His expertise spans hardware, software, and Web services.

The panel discussion was very productive, multiple questions came up and were answered during the session. A prevalent question was how do you protect your assets and intellectual property while building webVR experience. 
There was a very informative discussion why a standardized open VR/AR(XR) protocol was needed. Kaye talked about the problems they faced while designing Daydream, and why having a unified approach throughout the device stack will be beneficial for developers and device makers alike.


Overall I liked the vibe very much. Almost every session I attended was fun and engaging. The setup was good, the sessions were top notch and I got very good feedbacks from my talk. There were quite a few feedbacks and request for contact by different organizations that I felt was very good to get feedback on aframe and how we are doing in the webVR space. This for me was an invaluable experience.

Popular posts from this blog

LibrePlanet 2017: Liberating your open source experience

LibrePlanet is a yearly gathering of free software activists, users, and contributors—and, it's my favorite conference of the year. Here's why.
LibrePlanet is run by the Free Software Foundation, and has steadily evolved from a yearly members' meeting with presentations from staff and board members to a full blown two-day conference with speakers and attendees from all over the world. The event brings people who care about free software together to talk about the future of the movement, address current challenges, and celebrate successes.
Prelude I was invited to give a talk at LibrePlanet 2017 on 25th March at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts representing Mozilla as a Tech Speaker. I reached Boston on 25th early morning. Around 1 AM. The journey itself was awesome till I realized that you don't get Uber or Lyft at Boston Airport.

Not that the apps don't function there. They work! Just no driver will be ready to pick you up from Airport at that time. After trying t…

All Hands 2016: MozLondon, A recount

I recently had the opportunity to take part in Mozilla All Hands 2016 (a.k.a #MozLondon). Mozilla All hands. All Hands are bi-yearly events of Mozilla where all the paid staff from different teams around the globe meet with each other along with a handful of invited volunteers to disscuss about future projects and get some work done! This year it was in London and just immediately before Brexit (I actually didn't even know about it before I went there). It was a work week, so essentially the event spanned from Monday to Friday. I arrived at LHR on Monday morning, and then there was the awesome Heathrow Express which took me to Paddington, just a 7 mins walk away from Hilton Metropole where I was staying with a bunch of other people. The event started with all of us having an evening orientation familiarizing us with rules and regulations along with Code of Conduct(that turned out to be really important later on...).  Tuesday started with a Planery. Which you can see if you are lo…

Maximum Call Stack size exceeded: My mishap with nodejs and MongoDB

Working with nodejs is always an adventure and mix MongoDB with it, and it becomes very interesting for a nodejs enthusiast like me.

While working on a pet project involving Native MongoDb driver and nodejs I encountered a weird problem.

RangeError:MaximumcallstacksizeexceededAs usual my first thought was to Google out what I was facing and googling it out led me to the following to links.RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceededCalling Model.collection.save() RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceeded Also In some posts in MongoDB’s forum I saw that peoples said saving in `process.nextTick` or wrapping the call function in `parseInt` will also fix the problem, but it most certainly didn't work for me.So I started digging in on my own and soon enough found the reason.

If you’re trying to save a document and saving process somehow exited with an RangeError: Maximum call stack size exceeded exception, it’s related to what you want to save in the database. I had this problem a…