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VR Brighton Meetup#1: Future of VR and start of a community.

VR Meetup. Headset

Last night The Digital Catapult Centre was lucky enough to host experts at the forefront of Virtual Reality, marking the beginning of a new collaborative community dedicated to progressing the already vibrant local VR scene in Brighton.

There was representation from throughout the sector, with attendees from EDF energy, Unity, BBC as well as many attendees from Brighton’s digital sector such as Cogapp, Hexology, Brandwatch and Fracture Games.

The VR community was established in order to foster the wealth of expertise that exists in Brighton and to continue the conversations that occurred throughout The Old Market’s TOMTECH events, which brought together virtual reality and the creative sector.

The key themes that arose throughout TOMTECH were that Brighton is uniquely positioned to capitalise on the VR market through collaboration between Brighton’s existing areas of expertise (such as digital, creative arts and gaming) and that there was a real appetite for a community that could knowledge transfer.

Our speakers included Jim Byford from Make Real, who discussed his first-hand experience of the benefits of fusing together the creative and digital space along with the commercial opportunities behind VR.

Digital Catapult’s resident and artist Kate Genevieve of Chroma Space gave us a glimpse of the potential horizons of VR and examined how we could push the envelope further – using VR as a medium to transport us, ‘hacking’ reality itself.

Richard Plastow from and organiser of Brighton Web VR MeetUp gave us tour through the development of WebVR and extended an open invitation to the next WebVR Meetup on 17th November.

Tim Flemming from Future Visual shared with us their collaboration with John Lewis, demonstrating the potential for VR to show products in a retail setting and along with the other speakers brilliantly framed the evening and provide much food for thought.

Throughout the evening the air was buzzing with the excited sounds of reactions to demos and the clink of beer bottles as new contacts were made - it is evident there is so much passion around VR locally at this point in time.

The passion is reflected by the demand for this event, which reached capacity in record time prompting The Digital Catapult Centre to host another event in a month’s time. This amazing evening was just the beginning of more events around VR hosted by the Catapult Centre.

Throughout the event we were delighted to also showcase a range of VR use cases that included indie games, healthcare and architecture. The Digital Catapult Centre announced it will be looking to host VR residencies providing; collaborative working space, expertise and market access in order to speed interesting virtual reality projects to market.

This event was the beginning of many interesting conversations in this space and if you work locally and are interested in finding out more, there is lots of scope to still participate. Sign up here for our next event and read more about our residency offer here.

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