VRWC17 was fantastic

IBM, Royal Opera House, Framestore VR and more announced for VRWC17

By Ryan Davies

Published in: Announcement

Date: 13 / 1 / 17

Tags: VRWC17 / Speakers / Exhibitors

With VR World Congress now just a few months away, Opposable VR is happy to announce the next wave of speakers and exhibitors for April’s standard-setting conference!

Among the new collection of speakers are key players from the likes of IBM, London’s Royal Opera House, Aardman Animation and many more. As ever with talk choices for VRWC, the field is incredibly diverse, with speakers stemming from a huge range of industries and backgrounds.

The topics being covered are equally diverse. From an investigation into how VR can change opera and ballet from Tom Nelson, Creative Producer at the Royal Opera House, to a seminar on how to make VR experiences more accessible from Ian Hamilton.

Other talks include discussions on WebVR, creating VR experiences for museums, ‘designing the future’ with IBM and more. Opposable is incredibly proud to feature each of these unique and intriguing speakers.

We're also proud to add three new exhibitors to the VRWC expo. Ultrahaptics will be bringing their world-leading haptic feedback system to the expo, giving guests a chance to try their incredible button-free haptic technology – and see how it fits alongside VR. Noted by media brands across the globe as one of the most innovative and exciting growing technologies of 2016 and 2017, we’re incredibly excited to see what Ultrahapics have on show!

Shared VR specialists Igloo will also be bringing their incredible 360 projection ‘igloo’ with them to the conference, allowing guests the opportunity to see how VR can mean more than just a solitary headset.

Returning exhibitor Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE), meanwhile, will be showing how their students are embracing VR for future applications - making it a great booth for inventive, edgy VR design and new ideas.

The new lineup joins the likes of Microsoft’s Mike Taulty and Peter Daukintis, Dr Wendy Powell of the University of Portsmouth, Catherine Allen from the BBC as well as Tom Carter of innovative haptic-specialists Ultrahaptics.

Find the full speaker list below:


Tom Nelson, Royal Opera House - Can VR change opera and ballet?

Tom Nelson

Tom is Creative Producer at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. His work encompasses digital firsts, live streaming and exhibitions. Recent projects include 360-degree initiatives, World Ballet Day and The Opera Machine – an award winning online experience taking viewers behind the scenes.

He will be talking on how VR can build audiences for opera and ballet, with reference to case studies already created such as the Nutcracker in 360 and Nabucco 360.

Resh Sidhu, Framestore VR - Creating magical experiences: Behind the scenes with Google Daydream and Warner Bros Fantastic Beasts VR

Resh Sidhu

Resh is Creative Director of Framestore VR studio and one of the most well-regarded names in Virtual Reality, her most recent work is the groundbreaking Fantastic Beasts VR experience launching on Google’s Daydream Headset.

Framestore VR took fans of the wizarding world on a Fantastic Beasts virtual reality experience in the most immersive mobile VR experience built exclusively for Google Daydream. Resh will share the lessons learned, the creative process from concept to reality, while sharing the challenges and solutions they found to deliver this award winning experience.

Sheelagh Carew, IBM - Designing the future of VR

Sheelagh Carew

Sheelagh Carew is Product Designer for IBM, Ireland. She is the UX lead designer on products throughout the various stages of product development from user-research and frameworks to help teams solve end-user problems at the speed and scale that modern enterprises demand.

This workshop will take guests on a journey to reimagine the world in VR. Guests will be immersed in the IBM Design Thinking framework that will guide and enable them to collaborate, gain empathy, and create innovative VR experiences for our daily lives.

Dan Efergan, Aardman - Trying To Connect

Dan Efergan

Daniel Efergan is the Group Creative Director of Digital at Aardman Animations. What this actually means is he gets to spend lots of time doing fun things like making games, forming playful communities, and messing around in the murky bits between storytelling and interactivity.

Aardman will be dissecting their projects to look at how emotional connections between audience and story are established in VR, and how genuine mastery of this new medium is a long way off.

Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh, Virtualeap - WebVR: jumpstarting the industry from the ground up

Amir Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh large

Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh is the co-founder at Virtuleap, a sandbox for creative developers to showcase their VR concepts to the world, which is currently running the world’s biggest WebVR Hackathon. He is also the Amsterdam Chapter Lead at the VR/AR Association and the European Partner at Edoramedia, a games publisher and digital agency with its headquarters in Dubai.

Amir will be speaking on how WebVR's role in jumpstarting the VR industry is paramount during the hype cycle stage. 

Emily Smith, Alchemy VR - Virtual Reality: Taking museum visitors on extraordinary journeys

Emily Smith

Emily Smith is Director of Marketing and Business development at Alchemy VR and Atlantic Productions where she manages the strategic marketing, corporate communications and commercial and cultural partnerships.

Alchemy has worked with the world’s leading Museums to use VR to deliver insight into important objects. In her talk, Emily and Alchemy’s latest partner will discuss how they collaborated to produce the most dramatic experience to ever come out of the studio. 

Armando Kirwin, Milk(vr)

Armando Kirwin

Armando is Cofounder and Director of MILK(vr), a full service studio designed to support creative innovators in their leap into the art of virtual reality storytelling.  Armando was previously an EP and Head of Post at VRSE (now Here Be Dragons), and has completed over 20 VR films.

Ian Hamilton - VR & accessibility

Ian hamilton

Ian is an advocate and consultant working throughout the games industry to raise the profile and understanding of accessibility.

In this talk, Ian will look at VR-specific barriers for people with impaired vision, hearing, cognitive and motor ability, and how to overcome them through design, ensuring as many people as possible can benefit from all that VR has to offer. 

Thomas Bible, Thomas Bible Audio - Making the most of VR Audio

Thomas Bible

With more than 16 years of experience, Tom Bible has had Audio Lead roles on Oculus Story Studio's Emmy award-winning Henry, Dear Angelica, Robo Recall, Star Wars: 1313, and the Monkey Island: Special Edition series

Based on his experience with Oculus Story Studio's Henry, Dear Angelica and Epic Games' Robo Recall, Tom will be talking about some the best ways to work with audio in VR, including some best practices and pitfalls of different approaches.

Panel -  Inside the immersive web: pioneers of WebVR


Many say that 2017 will be the year of WebVR, the JavaScript API that allows you to load up VR using your browser. Join a mixed panel of industry veterans who are placing their bets on WebVR and learn why it will play a key role in jumpstarting the industry. Participants are:

Virtualeap - Amir-Esmaeil Bozorgzadeh (host)

Samsung - Diego Gonzalez

FreelanceFabien Benetou

LucidWeb - Thomas Balouet

Vizor - Antti Jäderholm.





Ultrahaptics is working to create the most remarkable connection between people and technology. By using ultrasound to project sensations onto a hand, Ultrahaptics is pushing through an era of change and allowing people to feel and control technology like never before.

From invisible buttons and dials that you feel when you need them, through to tangible interfaces that track your hand, this elegant and simple technology was created using complex mathematics yet is based on human nature.



Igloo designs, develops and delivers immersive 360º projection technologies. Stepping inside one of their projection domes is like stepping inside a giant VR headset.

Because they accommodate anything from 5 - 500 people, it’s a shared experience. Their technologies have been covered by many of the world’s best-respected media.


Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE)


Based at Bath and Bournemouth Universities, the CDE is an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training funding doctoral researchers. Their researchers work closely with and in some of the most exciting high-tech companies in the world.

The researchers and students at the CDE have provided some groundbreaking work involving virtual reality, some of which will be on display at VR World Congress.


Tickets for VR World Congress 2017 are available right now, with full three-day delegate tickets (which will grant you access to all of the speakers and exhibitors above) currently available for £300.

We hope you'll be joining us and our new speakers and exhibitors from April 11th - 13th for VR World Congress 2017! 

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