(San Diego, CA--July 17, 2017) VR CON @ COMIC-CON, the hub for Virtual Reality experiences and technology, expands this year to become FUTURISM & TECH @ COMIC-CON. This official event of Comic-Con International San Diego has more space dedicated to Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) attractions, debuts other groundbreaking technologies, and infuses art and visual expression. Global superstars The Black Eyed Peas will present their new AR experience based on the graphic novel “Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles” (Marvel), with AR hardware partner Mira. The event takes place July 19-23 at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego, across from the Convention Center.
VR CON was created in 2016 in conjunction with Comic-Con International to celebrate the best and boldest in the exploding areas of VR, AR, and MR. This year under its new banner, FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION @ COMIC-CON, the event has more than doubled in size (to over 10,000 square feet) and expanded to include the A.I. Innovation Fair by Mentor InSight, elements of the Fleet Science Center, and other tech experiences in robotics, wearable tech, and art.
VR CON’s FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION @ COMIC-CON showcases the latest from the leading equipment makers, film studios, television networks, game builders, scientists, publishers, brands, artists, designers, influencers and innovators. Attendees will have access to the latest developments as well as hands-on experience with the attractions.
Art exhibits will also be featured, including immersive VR art, a We Are
photography exhibit from the Entertainment Software Association Foundation and Red Bull Media House, and one artist painting live – Rob Prior, the official artist of Star Wars
and Game of Thrones
“With estimates of VR and AR alone generating $182 billion by 2025, we are now at the base of a gathering storm, and our industry needed its own public ‘CON’ – and that is why we initially founded VR CON, said Scott Bobrow, its Co-Founder/Producer. “VR and AR will provide earth-shattering changes to the way we live and interact with others, alter the landscape of every industry, and there will be little in the way of life that goes untouched by it. At this event, people will be able to see how.”
“We also realized since starting this that VR/AR is just the tip of the spear of tech innovations impacting entertainment and lifestyle,” added Mark Murphy, Co-Founder/Producer of the event. “So we broadened our event into one in which consumers can see and experience other aspects of Futurism and Tech.”
Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is one such area that is capturing the public imagination and bringing groundbreaking technologies to help humankind. “A.I. is a red-hot sector and we are excited to unveil some of the most epic examples of it at this event” said Molly Lavik, who curates the A.I. Innovation Fair, a new section at FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION @ COMIC-CON.
Gaming has also become a highlight of the event, with such industry leaders as Bandai Namco and Sega exhibiting. Sega is bringing its Sonic Jump attraction, producing a live performance of Sonic music, staging a dome take-over, and hosting an autograph session for Sonic Mania.
Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which produces the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) gaming convention in Los Angeles each year, is also participating in FUTURISM & THE PAVILION @ COMIC-CON. Its ESA Foundation is setting up a Diversity in Gaming and Tech Lounge, in partnership with Red Bull Media House. “Video games have the power to change communities and lives. The We Are
experience we are doing here has the potential to encourage and inspire not just future video game makers, but also designers, coders and more,” said Anastasia Staten, Executive Director of the ESA Foundation.
FUTURISM & TECH @ COMIC-CON will feature a wide range of attractions, special guests, scientists, expert panels, art, and the latest in gear and creations on display from leading manufacturers and pacesetters. Attractions
- Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul in VR - VRWERX presents its “scary as hell” VR attraction based on Paramount Pictures’ movie franchise.
- Mission Impossible VR - VR WERX teases its next VR project with Paramount Pictures.
- The Mummy Prodigium Strike VR - A new location-based experience by VR pioneer Starbreeze Studios, in conjunction with NBC Universal, based on the recent Universal Studios film.
- Digital Domain’s Monkey King VR - An action-packed cinematic VR adventure born out of 16th Century Chinese mythology and explored through 21st Century technology. From Digital Domain, the leading-edge digital and visual effects company, with its own virtual production studio.
- Raw Data VR - Feel the rush of battle, awe of exploration, and exhilaration of new experiences -- as only Survios can create, and did so in this VR smash hit.
- Qualcomm - Mobile VR is shaking up the entertainment industry as a bold technology platform and San Diego native Qualcomm is at the fore. A sponsor of this event, they also assembled experts for a special panel spotlighting their Power Rangers VR project.
- Mars Odyssey - An interactive single-player VR educational simulation that takes you to the distant red planet to repair NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers – including Viking, Pathfinder, Curiosity, and Opportunity – which have fallen under disrepair.
- Exit Reality - A creator of pop-up VR experiences, their VR Cubes allow for instant virtual arcade fun.
- Stimuli VR - Stimuli glasses replace big, bulky VR headsets to make VR more accessible. Get ready to nab some being given away.
- Sega Zone - Gaming giant Sega brings the “Sonic Jump” interactive attraction, and is taking over one of the 360 Dome Pro theaters in the event on Saturday for screenings of Sonic content. They are also hosting a live performance of Sonic music, and an autograph session with creators of the latest Sonic game.
- Bandai Namco’s Project CARS 2 - The sequel to the hit game developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, get your motor revving in this racing simulation video game. Also available in VR – with both forms being demoed.
A.I. Innovation Fair
- 360 Dome Pro - They revolutionized immersive theaters with pop-up domed theaters in which people enter, lay down, look up, and experience stunning short films airing across the entire structure. Sega will be taking over one of the domes, all day Saturday, July 19, to screen content from Sonic. Space Odyssey, the PC downloadable game now on Kickstarter will be taking over another of the domes; it will showcase the mind-blowing game engine it is testing as part of its game build.
- MediaMation - Sitting was never so much fun… their one-of-a-kind, interactive 4D and VR technology makes for bleeding-edge cinema seating, which reacts with motion and special EFX.
– Introducing Professor Einstein™, the amazingly expressive and playful robot who trains your brain and teaches you science. Hanson Robotics will be offering an exclusive Hanson Robotics lab coat numbered from 1 to 100 to the first 100 purchasers. Also interact with Sophia, one of the company’s most advanced and celebrated robots with an expressiveness that the world has never seen on a robot.
Fleet Science Center
- Brain2Bot - Meet Spurlock, a robot with a brain! With a mission to take the artificial out of AI, they are building software for autonomous robots that learn, show emotion, evolve, and engage dynamically based on how you interact with them.
- Hyperloop Transportation Technologies – CEO Dirk Ahlborn debuts their VR experience for the station and boarding and their AR collaboration tool Beem on the Microsoft HoloLens. The Microsoft HoloLens allows visitors to interact with holograms in mixed reality, which in turn enables you to visualize and work with your digital content as part of your real world.
- The acclaimed San Diego institution, which is now hosting the Game Masters exhibit, is bringing fun stuff and its celebrated “Two Scientists Walk into a Bar” experience -- which means dozens of the best and brightest of the area scientists and innovators will be on hand!
Art & Visual Expression
- We Are Exhibit - Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation and Red Bull Media House will showcase We Are, an educational photography exhibit, in the Diversity in Gaming and Tech Lounge. The exhibit shines a light on incredibly talented women contributing to the gaming community
- Rob Prior Gallery - The official artist for Game of Thrones and Star Wars will displaying his artwork and painting live!
- Shape Space - Academy Award winning visual effects pioneer and artist Kevin Mack shares his artistic visions as immersive virtual reality art experiences.
- Galactic Gallery VR - A virtual reality “visionary” art gallery where you can interact and go inside the art. A fully immersive experience in the cosmos using the HTC Vive VR platform, SUBPAC, and headphones.
- GlamGlow - This cosmetics company partnered with Sega and Sonic the Hedgehog to create an exclusive Sonic Blue facial mask, featuring gravitymud™ firming treatment in the exclusive Sonic Blue. Gaming has never been so sexy.
- Survios - The VR game studio behind Raw Data and Sprint Vector will be giving away cool stuff through the run of show.
- Golden Ticket - Attendees have a chance to win the ability to skip the lines of the attractions at the event, and also take home some goodies like Stimuli VR glasses. This will run throughout the show.
There will be some unique media lounge experiences, including:
Space Odyssey Studio
- Space Odyssey, the PC downloadable game guided by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson and his StarTalk All-Stars, and featured currently on Kickstarter, will have a studio in which innovators and creators will be interviewed.
Diversity in Gaming & Tech Lounge, presented by Electronic Software Association (ESA) Foundation in partnership with Red Bull Media House
- The association dedicated to serving the needs of video game companies and produces E3 each year, is committed to expanding diversity in the field. ESA Foundation, the U.S. entertainment software industry’s charitable organization, highlights here the contributions and perspectives of a dynamic and vibrant gaming community. It also serves to inspire others to enter the video game industry and STEM-related careers.
The Black Eyed Peas
Mira will present a discussion alongside The Black Eyed Peas, multi-platinum global music artists who have won six Grammy Awards, and are now authors of a new graphic novel, "Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles” (Marvel), and CEO of Trigger Global, Jaason Yim, who helped create the AR experience. Moderated by Mira’s co-founder and COO, Matt Stern, The BEP will share the inspiration behind their debut graphic novel and discuss the creation of an Augmented Reality experience where "Masters of the Sun" fans can use Mira's Prism headsets to experience a new dimension of interactivity and entertainment.
Come to Mira’s booth at VR CON’s FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22.
The event is also curating dynamic panels with industry leaders and special performances at COMIC-CON. These are:
World Creators - Crossing Platforms (Film, TV, VR, AR, Gaming and Comics)
Friday, July 21 at 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Venue: Horton Grand Theatre - 444 Fourth Avenue
A discussion of what it takes to make worlds come alive across a multitude of platforms, featuring some of the greatest creative minds in the business. Panelists include: Ted Schilowitz (Paramount Studios’ Futurist), Kiki Wolfkill (Head, Halo Studios, Microsoft), Randy Pitchford (CEO, Gearbox), Colum Slevin (Head of VR, Oculus), Wayne Kennedy (Digital Domain), Nathan Burba (Survios), and Marlene Sharp (Sega).
Rising Stars in Tech: Drivers of Innovation and Entertainment
Saturday, July 22 at 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Venue: Horton Grand Theater – 444 Fourth Avenue
This panel spotlights contributors from the worlds of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sustainable tech, and robotics. Features innovators from Mira, Survios, Skydance, Bandai Namco, Hanson Robotics (including its robots Sophia and Professor Einstein), Hyperloop, and 360 Dome Pro on a panel moderated by Anastasia Staten, Executive Director, Electronic Software Association (ESA) Foundation.
Power Rangers VR – Case Study
Saturday, July 22 at 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Venue: Horton Grand Theatre – 444 Fourth Avenue
This cutting edge panel presented by Qualcomm describes the journey of adapting the explosive narrative of one of pop-culture's most exciting franchises, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, from the splendor of cinema to the rad immersion of Virtual Reality, an experience powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon tech. A collaboration between Qualcomm, Saban and Lionsgate. The panel features: David Edwards (SVP Digital Marketing, Lionsgate), Patrick Costello (Senior Director Business Development, Qualcomm); and Jen Cadic (Project Manager, ReelFX).
Sounds of Sonic
Thursday, July 22 at 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Venue: Indigo Ballroom, inside the Bayfront Hilton – 1 Park Boulevard
A live performance of Sonic music by master-producer, composer and guitarist Shota Nakama with a special band. As a musical guest, legendary Sonic Sound Director and Guitarist Jun Senoue, famed for penning many of the game series’ most popular songs will perform with them. This spellbinding experience will feature video footage as well as special arrangements of both classic and new Sonic themes, for a one-night only free performance for Comic-Con badge holders.
Additionally, on Saturday, July 23, members of the Sonic Mania Development Team will be signing copies of the exclusive Comic-Con Sonic Mania instruction manual in the autograph zone at Sails Pavilion.
Special category events within FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION include:
MEDIA PREVIEW – Wednesday, July 19 at 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Allows for media, bloggers and influencers a first experience of the event.
DEVELOPERS/INDUSTRY PREVIEW – Wednesday, July 19 at 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Presented by Qualcomm, Digital Domain, Survios, SaaSMax, Fleet Science Center, and ESA, this exclusive session allows for developers, designers, and other industry folks to get a sneak peek of the event. COMIC-CON passes are not required for this session.
VIP RECEPTION – Saturday, July 22 at 8:00 p.m.+
Presented by Qualcomm, Digital Domain, Sega, Survios, and The Macallan, this event is for speakers, special guests, social influencers, innovators, and leaders in VR-AR, AI, Futurism & Tech. The Macallan will be offering a whiskey tasting of four of their different casks: 12-year cask, 12 year double-cask, 15 year cask and rare cask, as well as another high-end brand. This is an invite-only event.
VR CON’s FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION @ COMIC-CON kicks off on Wednesday, July 19, with a preview day, which includes a media reception and developers preview. Regular days and hours are: Thursday, Friday, Saturday (July 20-22) 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sunday (July 23) 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
The event is at the Omni San Diego Hotel at 675 L Street, which directly faces the city’s Convention Center, home of San Diego International Comic-Con International, and is next to Petco Park stadium. The event also faces the Game of Thrones
attraction, which is housed in the Omni Hotel’s parking structure.
For more information about VR CON’s FUTURISM AND TECH PAVILION @ COMIC-CON visit www.vrconevents.com
Not going to be able to attend any of these?
Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe (The Harold & Maudecast
on The HMC
, and Creative COW podcast partners
) will be on the streets, in the halls and all over San Diego for his year's San Diego International Comic-Con. The HMC is pleased to be participating as media partners for one of the most significant and buzzworthy events at Comic-Con, VR CON