Taking place this weekend, 24th – 26th January 2020, the Vive Developer Jam, in partnership with Admix and Goldsmith’s University of London, Department of Computing, will bring together pioneering virtual reality (VR) developers with the latest VIVE hardware. Participants will have the opportunity to experiment with forward-thinking SDKs like Eye/Lip and Hand tracking and redefine how people interpret and interact with VR. In order to accomplish this a number of professional augmented reality (AR) and VR developers will act as mentors, including three evangelists from Unity Technologies and John O’Neill, a 25-year veteran of the video games industry.
Having began his career at MicroProse in 1994, O’Neill has since founded two studios, Spark Plug Games in 2008 and Dark Unicorn Games in 2015, and continues to guide those companies in technical development solutions using the Unity engine for PC, console, mobile, and VR/AR platforms. O’Neill was also the director of business development for Vicious Cycle Software and responsible for the cutting-edge middleware solution, the Vicious Engine. In the past three years, John has been serving as a technical consultant for Tobii AB, the Swedish eye tracking company, and guiding enterprise companies in the business and technical direction of best practices in design and implementation of eye tracking technology in XR solutions.
“The creative passion of hackathons can generate amazing and innovative content, and I’m excited to be a part of the process as a mentor at the Vive Developer Jam,” said O’Neill. “High fidelity graphics in the Vive Pro Eye combined with eye tracking and lip pose will vastly broaden the immersion that people can have in a VR experience, and it’s during events like this that we discover the possibilities!”
Three Unity Evangelists from Unity Technology’s EMEA team will join the VIVE Developer Jam as mentors. Unity is the world’s leading real-time 3D development platform, giving anyone from emerging creators to global technology, entertainment, and manufacturing brands the most powerful and accessible tools to create anything imaginable. Unity has always proved to be an incredible platform when developing for XR devices, being an integrated development environment which works with VIVE out of the box; while at the same time providing, through the Asset Store, a number of extensions and assets which speed up the development of the most imaginative prototypes. This makes Unity a favourite in hackathons and game jams.
Leading the team is Ciro Continisio, who joined Unity in 2016 with a graphic design background and over 12 years of development experience, including two commercial game releases with his own company, Tiny Colossus, and work as a tester at EA. Continisio and his team travel throughout the EMEA region to spread the word about Unity, focusing on games. Continisio is also the creator of the Unity Playground, a framework that helps beginner users make games in Unity without programming.
Additionally, Chema Damak and Amel Negra are two recent Unity joiners in the Evangelism team who will provide further support during the hack. They both bring previous VR experience in the b2b marketing and academic worlds, using different headsets and technology.
At the start of the Vive Developer Jam this Friday, 24th January 2020, the team will deliver a presentation on Unity and VR, focusing on how to get started with Vive Pro in Unity, and on tools and features that will prove useful during the hack. Applications for the Vive Developer Jam are now closed and those you confirmed their interest in the event via the Eventbrite page are encouraged to check their inboxes for confirmation of their participation.
Kevin Joyce has been working with immersive technology since 2013, establishing VRFocus.com as one of the leading AR and VR publications before joining Admix, a non-intrusive advertising platform designed specifically for immersive experiences, as Lead Evangelist.