Waterford VR player helps HTC beat impact of Coronavirus

Waterford technology company VR Education has landed a major coup and will virtually host Taiwan tech giant HTC’s annual ecosystem conference in virtual reality (VR).

VR Education (VRE) will host the 2020 HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference via its ENGAGE technology platform.

This conference has historically been held by HTC in Shenzhen in China, however, due to the Coronavirus and the subsequent shutdown and travel restrictions imposed across the country, the event in its physical format has been cancelled.

Coronavirus continues to impact us all and we feel that by hosting this conference virtually we can mitigate some of the disruption that it has and continues to cause businesses globally

HTC approached VRE to virtually host HTC 2020 VEC, thereby allowing the free event to run as planned, albeit virtually.

VR Education believes will be the first conference ever to be transferred into virtual reality, enabling a global audience without travel.

The conference will also be attended by the teams from other events which are either cancelled, postponed or taking on new digital formats such as GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications), GDC (Game Developers Conference), ESL (English as a Second Language) and GTC (GPU Technology Conference).

The HTC 2020 VEC speakers will be located in China, Taiwan, France, the UK and the US and will communicate their various presentations as avatars in virtual reality via the Engage platform.

Replacing physical with virtual

VR Education was founded by husband and wife team David and Sandra Whelan and two years ago listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges.

The company has attracted top global VR talent to work on some of the most compelling titles in VR today.

These include a realistic recreation of the Apollo 11 space mission to the moon in 1969 as well as a faithful rendering of the Titanic that allows users to explore the wreck within virtual reality.

“We have a close working relationship with HTC and so when they asked if we could assist in hosting HTC 2020 VEC via Engage, we were delighted to help out,” said David Whelan, CEO of VRE.

“Coronavirus continues to impact us all and we feel that by hosting this conference virtually we can mitigate some of the disruption that it has and continues to cause businesses globally.

“Whilst there is no monetary value to this agreement, we believe that it marks the first time an official physical industry event is fully replaced by VR. It also provides us with an excellent opportunity to showcase the exciting capabilities of our Engage platform to a truly global technology-led audience. We hope that this might, in turn, lead to further commercial opportunities for the Group going forward.”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 9 March, 2020