This Speaker Profile takes a closer look at Ian Hamilton and the topic of accessibility in VR. Ian an is an advocate and consultant working throughout the games industry to raise the profile and understanding of accessibility.
Tickets are still available if you would like to know more about his specialist subject and many others. Click here for more info.
1. What do you do?
I'm an accessibility specialist, I work with studios, publishers, industry bodies and so on to ensure that content is able to reach people with all kinds of impairment, so customers are not unnecessarily excluded through disability.
2. Who is your talk aimed at and what will attendees gain from it?
Accessibility is a pressing issue for VR, it has great potential for opening new doors but at the same time has much greater demands of someone's body than any other medium, meaning less people are able to take part. Some of these barriers are inherent to the platform, but many more are not, meaning that with the right design conditions developers can easily open up their content to broader audiences, and often through doing so make their content work better across different VR platforms, for temporary (e.g. broken arm) and situational (e.g noisy room) impairments, and also often just meaning better content full stop, giving a bit of extra reinforcement or extra flexibility than anyone can benefit from.
The session will cover a range of considerations put together by a number of leaders in the field, attendees will leave with a sense of what the spread of barriers are, where there are already easy solutions, and where there is room for innovation.
3. What do you see as the biggest innovation in VR right now?
For me the big differentiator with VR is the deep level of interest in accessibility that many VR developers already have. This isn't something that we've really had before at this stage of development of a new way of interacting, we didn't see it with motion controls at all really, and we didn't see it with touchscreens until several generations in. So that's pretty exciting to see, it can only lead to good things for the industry.