The Top 5 Things to Do and See at Seattle Startup Week

Seattle Startup Week is just around the corner. It is an event that happens every year in Seattle to showcase startups, new business trends, and more. Best of all, it is FREE to the public! All you have to do is register here. After you register, sign up for the events you wish to attend at seattle.startupweek.co.

We’ve highlighted the Top 5 Events at Seattle Startup Week that you shouldn’t miss.

Distinctive and Memorable: Communicating Your Vision Through VR/AR

What it is:

Hear from leaders in the field about how to leave a lasting impression on clients through VR/AR. We will have some great VR/AR branding examples, as well as tools that can enable your businesses to deliver high-quality experiences and ways VR/AR has been used to make clients feel larger than life.

Why you should go:

This is the panel to go to if you’re getting starting in using VR or AR at your business. Founders, C-Levels, and directors from Z-Axon, Fair Worlds, Pixvana, and our own COO Lily Snyder will talk about the different ways VR and AR communicates a brand’s or company’s vision in a new way. They’ll be covering topics from VR Branding, Analytics, Immersion and the challenges that come with each.

Time and Place:

Tuesday October 3, 2017 5:30pm - 7:00pm

CoMotion HQ 4545 Roosevelt Way NE #300 Seattle, WA 98105

 

Scaling Your Healthy Startup Culture

What it is:

Culture is key to every successful startup. Learn when to start defining your culture, and how to maintain it as the company grows. Scaling culture is a big challenge and one that not every startup can master. See how to be sure you're adding people with the right values who are passionate about your company’s mission.

Why you should go:

Seasoned startup CEOs who have built companies with amazing cultures that attract and retain top talent share their thoughts and lessons learned about what makes a healthy culture. They will talk about how to think about culture during rapid growth.

Time and Place:

Tuesday October 3, 2017 11:00am - 12:00pm

#ChaseBasecamp (aka Galvanize: The Square) 111 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

 

Building Inclusive Technology

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What it is:

As more artificial intelligence systems integrate into lives of diverse users, it is critical to examine who we build for. Learn best practices from leading AI, VR, and AR technologists on building inclusive products to expand user base, improve customer experience, and avoid embarrassing mishaps when users cannot use products as intended due to biased system training.

Why you should go:

Learn from those who have been there, made that mistake. See what it takes to test and build immersive technology that most benefit’s it’s target market. Learn how to think like the customer using your VR, AR, or AI solution for the first time. What the VR/AR/AI industry can do as a whole to incorporate people as creators, who have not yet thought of immersive tech as an option.

Time and Place:

Wednesday October 4, 2017 12:30pm - 2:00pm

#ChaseBasecamp (aka Galvanize: The Underground) 111 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

 

Exploring Seattle’s XR Market: Enterprise and Storytelling

Coworkers meet in rumii, a collboration software that runs on PC and VR.

Coworkers meet in rumii, a collboration software that runs on PC and VR.

What it is:

Make your way to Pluto VR in Ballard (we have free parking!) to try Enterprise and Storytelling VR/AR/XR Demos from local PNW developers, companies and organizations. We will have 12+ booths open for you to try 360 video experiences, collaboration experiences and even haptic hardware that will make you feel like a spider is crawling on your hand.

Why you should go:

Check out the latest in enterprise and storytelling VR, AR, and XR experiences. Plus, try rumii first hand. We will be exhibiting our latest Early Access 4 build for the first time. Don’t miss it!

Time and Place:

Wednesday October 4, 2017 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Pluto VR 5245 Shilshole Ave NW, Seattle WA 98107

 

The Blended Workforce and How to Embrace It

What it is:

Around 40% of today's workforce is made up of non-traditional working people, or a "blended workforce". The blended workforce is made up of people who work full-time and part-time, as well as temporary workers, freelancers, and contract workers.

Why you should go:

See how Seattle companies are embracing the blended workforce trend. Learn how to navigate the challenges as well as how the trend has this helped culture and productivity from a panel who are either working as a non-traditional employee or have teams made up of them, including our very own CEO, Mat Chacon.

Time and Place:

Thursday October 5, 2017 11:00am - 12:00pm

#ChaseBasecamp (aka Galvanize: Dove Tail) 111 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

3 VR Events You Need To Know In October

October may be a month away but for us, it seems just around the corner. We have a jammed packed schedule of events across the U.S. 

Seattle Startup Week

When: October 2-6, 2017

Where: Seattle, WA

We are more than excited to be invited to speak and demo at Seattle Startup Week this year. Our CEO, Mat Chacon, and COO, Lily Snyder, are both speaking on panels. During the demo night, the team is giving interactive demos of rumii.

Add our sessions to your schedule:

Distinctive & Memorable: Communicating Your Vision Through VR/AR

The Blended Workforce and How to Embrace it

Building Inclusive Technology

Oculus Connect

When: October 11-12, 2017

Where: San Jose, CA

Are you going to be at Oculus Connect in October? Make sure to say "hi" to our CTO, Elbert Perez. He'll be walking around the floor checking out the latest in virtual reality.

MIA Animation

When: October 13-14, 2017

Where: Miami, FL

Always wanted to check out Doghead Simulations but never had the chance? Now you can! Stop by our booth in the exhibition hall at the MIA Animation conference. There you'll get to meet members of our team including our CTO, Elbert Perez, and CCO, Chance Glasco. You'll also have a chance to listen to speakers, attend workshops, and see the latest in creative technologies. 

Make sure to check out Elbert Perez speak on Friday the 13th at 12:30 PM. 

5 Terrific Reasons to Use VR Conference Tools

Professionals from Agile coaches to educators to project managers use rumii to communicate with their teams around the world. Professionals use rumii to work and collaborate through our Early Access Program (EAP). Our EAP is a chance to use rumii for free and give your feedback to the features and capabilities needed in an immersive communication tool.

umii features all the capabilities of traditional teleconference tools including screen and file sharing, quality audio, and private meeting spaces to name a few. Since rumii is an immersive experience, people can load 3D models into their environment. They can walk around and manipulate them instead of looking through a computer screen.

Don’t take our word for the awesomeness of rumii. See below why people have chosen rumii over phone calls, video calls, and web meetings.

#1 rumii is built for professionals

“We have clients all over the world and routinely have to fly contacts out to meet with them. Most products we've looked at so far are very much focused on entertainment/games, we're looking for a more polished and professional solution.”

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We developed rumii with you, the professional in mind. You won’t be distracted by stranger’s avatars running through your meetings, popping balloons, or virtual avatars. Focus on what’s most important to get the most out of every meeting, workshop and training in our clean-cut, professional environments.

#2 Remote Agile Teams

“We are an agile team and all work remotely, so we see a great use for this tool for our scrum ceremonies.”

Agile Scrum meetings work best when the whole team is gathered in the room. Unfortunately, due to the global workforce, this is becoming less and less possible. In rumii, teams feel like they are in the same room with each other, making Daily Standups possible again.

#3 Key Integrations

“Always wanted to have all the millions of JIRA and webex meetings more interactive as we typically design flat and over screen shares. So many times it feels like I'm talking to myself as the meeting host.”

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One of the biggest complaints with traditional conference calls is that it can feel like you’re talking to yourself. With rumii, no longer. Avatars represent what people are actually looking at and where they are in a room.

We integrated with Atlassian’s JIRA, the number one software development tool used by Agile teams, into rumii. Collaborate on User Story Cards during the Daily Standup, Sprint Planning, or quality triage meetings for the best results.

#4 Reduce time-consuming business travel

“I'm based in California and I collaborate with partners in Detroit, Germany, and Spain. Business travel is expensive, time-consuming and incompatible with our environmental mission.”

Companies spend $1 Trillion on business travel annually. It costs more than just dollars. Business travel costs work/life balance and the environment. Our customers meet with their teams and clients in rumii because it provides the “in the room” feel while being virtually represented.

#5 Online Training that works

“Remote medical sales training.”

No more sitting through boring webinars. Host interactive training sessions in our professionally built rooms. Bring whole teams together to train them on the latest business practices, models, and presentations.

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Why You Should Be Excited About Virtual Reality

“We've been exposed to flat rectangles on walls for a long time. We don't know that we don't want that any more.”

This is one quote that we can’t get out of our heads from OrlandoiX this year. It was a discussion point during the panel, one of our co-founders, Elbert Perez, was on. The panel’s focus was The Real Business of VR. This panel was very powerful because it set some themes for the conference: that immersive technology is about computers learning to understand the way humans think and act instead of humans having to learn about how computers work. AR, VR, and MR are so much more than a new gaming platform. It is a change in computing from input to output.

Co-founder, Elbert Perez, discusses the business of VR on a panel at OrlandoiX17.

Co-founder, Elbert Perez, discusses the business of VR on a panel at OrlandoiX17.

A speaker after The Real Business of VR panel talked about why virtual reality won’t actually be a multi-billion dollar industry in the next five years. He displayed graphs that showed how the hardware sales numbers were skewed. He talked about how the Apple AR store will suck up 30% of an app’s revenue, decreasing incentive to make new AR apps.

He talked about how investors are looking hard at VR companies in terms of monetization and adoption of headsets. While it is true that investors are looking at how immersive tech companies will bring in revenue instead of investing solely on an idea, that doesn’t mean these startups are dead in the water.

We couldn’t help but think how people have been staring at 2D screens for so long that they don’t know that they want anything different. This is similar to what our other co-founder, Chance Glasco, said in a recent Forbes article. Quoting Henry Ford, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

We shouldn't write off a whole industry before it even gets started. 2016 was the first big year for VR. 2017, while it had a slower start, is picking up steam.

The Director of Business Strategy for the Hololens, Ben Reed pointed out in his talk about mixed reality what we think everyone interested in the immersive tech industry needs to know. Augmented reality and virtual reality are on a spectrum. There is a whole area in between that is called mixed reality. This opens up a diverse playing field for companies ready to bring their innovative ideas mainstream.

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We are in a renaissance of immersive technology. Everyone from creatives to the business minded are finding ways to incorporate AR, VR, 360 video, and beyond into their daily lives. One only needs to do a quick Facebook search to find group after group of people using this technology.

Some will fail. Not every company will turn into a Michelangelo, Titian, or Donatello but they will be a contributor, pushing the movement forward into the reality of our lives. The Renaissance lasted for centuries. It started after the middle ages and ended in the 17th century. Technology moves much, much faster.

What we learned this year at OrlandoiX is an important message for those interested in the immersive tech industry: it is here to stay. We only have to look at the history of computers to see that immersive technology like AR, VR, and MR, is the next logical step in computing.

The Apple II was released in 1977, selling millions of through 1993. The Apple II was the first PC to gain traction beyond computer hobbyists. Just 14 years later the first iPhone was released. In 2016, only nine years after the release of the iPhone, virtual reality broke into the consumer market and set record investment numbers. We don’t remember those who doubted and dismissed Michelangelo and Donatello. In the same way, the doubters of immersive technology will either be left behind or converted over.

The techniques and styles created by the first renaissance artists were not a one off solution that only they used. Up and coming artists used their techniques and built on top of them. Children growing up in the renaissance only knew that those styles were normal, so naturally, paintings would be done in that fashion.

In the same way, kids today are growing up thinking digital. They think in pictures and video because they used their parent’s iPads since they were toddlers. One example is a kid put into Google Tiltbrush, a VR painting program. The kid drew an igloo around himself. When an adult was put into Tiltbrush, they tried to draw a 2D drawing only to realize that it didn’t work from all angles. This is why the future of immersive technology is unstoppable. Children are already thinking in 3D when it comes to computers. They expect to be able to draw and play in 3D because that is what they’re growing up with.

Immersive technology will be more than the ability to display digital information into our reality or transporting ourselves into a completely digital world. Immersive technology will ask computers to learn how humans work, instead of humans having to learn how computers work. This will only make them more accessible and useful to humans. Imagine what problems can be solved and what inventions can be created when humans can just “go” instead of learning a specific software first.

At Doghead Simulations, we understand the quote about staring at glowing rectangles on walls. We know it will take some convincing at first for companies and remote workers to give virtual reality a chance. What we also know is that these same companies and remote workers are interested in virtual reality. They are curious about the possibilities of working in a virtual office together. Once they meet inside of our software, rumii, it suddenly clicks.

 

Lily Snyder, Elbert Perez, and Amanda Sweaton demoing rumii at OrlandoiX17.

Lily Snyder, Elbert Perez, and Amanda Sweaton demoing rumii at OrlandoiX17.

AltspaceVR will not be the end of VR companies

We are truly saddened to hear that AltSpaceVR is closing their doors on August 3rd. For many of us in the VR space, they paved the road to virtual reality being mainstream.

AltspaceVR had an impressive user base with an average 35,000 users a month. Their average user spent 35 minutes a day in VR. Those are impressive statistics! Altspace hosted concerts and interviews with people such as Bill Nye. Their events drew crowds of 1,000 people.

AltspaceVR closing their doors is also a lesson for the rest of us. As Robert Scoble, an authoritative blogger in the tech world, said, “our industry needs to look at itself deeply.” Scobleclaimed that out of 1,000 entrepreneurs he spoke to, only three had a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Schoble claims that everyone should move to Apple’s AR technology. However, what we’ve seen is that VR works very well for specific use cases, which we have identified. Just because VR had a slow start to 2017 and we’re seeing AltspaceVR close its doors does not mean this tech is dead in the water. In fact, it’s far from it.

VR investment had a record year in 2016 of $2.3 billion. The hype from 2016 cooled off investment in VR/AR in the beginning of 2017. However, we’re already starting to see a rise in VR/AR investment in Q2 of this year, “AR/VR Dealmakers invested over $800 million dollars in Q2 2017” which is especially impressive because those numbers are without Magic Leap in the picture. These are the stats and figures that we should be looking at when analyzing the VR industry.

It hurts our heart to see a VR company fail, but their failure allows us to learn from their experiences. We are going strong at Doghead Simulations with 300 global users participating in our Early Access Program. We continue to speak and demo at events around the world as we move to our launch date. Our product, rumii, is a solution to a problem all companies face: poor telecommunication experiences.

Interested to see what we are all about? Check out our monthly meetups or experience rumii first hand at OrlandoiX and Seattle Startup Week.

Even better, join our FREE Early Access Program to use rumii first hand.

People gather in rumii to discuss VR applications for their businesses.

People gather in rumii to discuss VR applications for their businesses.