Mel Slater

Mel Slater is part-time Professor of Virtual Environments in the Department of Computer Science of University College London.

He is also an ICREA Research Professor at the University of Barcelona, Spain, where he leads the Event Lab.

His major research interest is the question of what makes virtual reality work: how is it possible to build virtual environments such that people respond realistically to events within them? What scientific explanations are there of this phenomenon? He has a particular interest in virtual reality for the creation of social scenarios, and also in using the power of virtual reality for changing the self, research that is focused on the interface between computer science and neuroscience.


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS 2017 (Reminder because it was great too !) 


Alvaro Cassinelli

Alvaro Cassinelli is an equilibrist walking the thin line between Art and Science.

Born in Uruguay, he obtained an Engineering degree in Telecommunications (Telecom ParisTech) and a Ph.D in Physics (University of Paris-XI), before moving to Japan where he created and lead the Meta-Perception group - a research unit specialized on Human-Computer Interfaces for enhancing human communication and expression.

He is presently working as CTO at SinergiaTech, the first FabLab in Uruguay. Openly experimenting in the field of Media Arts since 2004, he has been awarded several prizes as a Media Artist, including the Grand Prize [Art Division ] at the 9th Japan Media Art Festival, an Excellence Prize [Entertainment Division] at the 13th Japan Media Art Festival,  an Honorary Mention at Ars Electronica 2006 , the NISSAN Innovative Concept Award (2010), and the Jury Grand Prize at Laval Virtual (2011).



Mark_Billinghurst.jpgPr. Mark Billinghurst, University of South Australia

He earned a PhD in 2002 from the University of Washington and researches innovative computer interfaces that explore how virtual and real worlds can be merged, publishing over 300 papers in topics such as wearable computing, Augmented Reality and mobile interfaces.

Prior to joining the University of South Australia he was Director of the HIT Lab NZ at the University of Canterbury and he has previously worked at British Telecom, Nokia, Google and the MIT Media Laboratory.

His MagicBook project, was winner of the 2001 Discover award for best entertainment application, and he received the 2013 IEEE VR Technical Achievement Award for contributions to research and commercialization in Augmented Reality. In 2013 he was selected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.​



InamiPr Masahiko Inami, Research Center for Advanced Sciences and Technology at the University of Tokio

His research interest is in Augmented Human, human I/O enhancement technologies including perception, HCI and robotics.

He received BE and MS degrees in bioengineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and PhD in the Department of Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AIS) from the University of Tokyo in 1999.

He joined the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Tokyo, and in 1999, he moved to the University of Electro-Communications. In April 2008, he moved to Keio University, where he served as a Professor of the Graduate School of Media Design and the Vice-director of the International Virtual Reality Center till October 2015.

In November 2015, he rejoined the University of Tokyo, and served as a Professor at the Department of Information Physics and Computing. His scientific achievements include the Retro-reflective Projection Technology (RPT) known as "Optical Camouflage," which was chosen as one of the coolest inventions of 2003 by /TIME/ magazine. Hisinstallations have appeared at Ars Electronica Center. He proposed and organized the Superhuman Sports Society.



peddieDr Jon Peddie

Dr. Jon Peddie is one of the pioneers of the graphics industry, and formed JPR to provide customer intimate consulting and market forecasting services.

He lectures at numerous conferences and universities on topics pertaining to graphics technology and the emerging trends in digital media technology. Recently named one of the most influential analysts, he regularly advises investors in the technology sector.

Frequently quoted in trade and business publications, he was the president of The Siggraph Pioneers, contributes articles to numerous publications and in 2015 was given the Life Time Achievement award from the CAAD society.

He is also the author or co-author of several books including Graphics User Interfaces and Graphics Standards (1992), High Resolution Graphics Display Systems (1994), Multimedia and Graphics Controllers (1994), The History of Visual Magic in Computers (2013), and contributing author to six others, Contributing Editor, Handbook of Visual Display Technology (2016), and is currently working on a new book on Augmented Reality (2017). 





KCM hedshot 2 13Kathleen Maher, Vice president; Editor in chief; Tech Watch

Kathleen Maher is an experienced analyst tracking content creation and design software. Maher is the Editor-in-Chief of JPR's TechWatch Report, one of the most respected insider reports published today. She is the author of several well received reports including the 3D Modeling and Animation Report, The CAD Report, and also reports on video animation, print, and audio software.

She is the Editor in Chief of GraphicSpeak, a website covering graphics hardware and software, Contributing Editor for Computer Graphics World, a frequent contributor to Connect Press, and a contributor to the Handbook of Visual Display Technology (2011).

Before coming to Jon Peddie Research, Maher was a founding editor for several publications including the Austin Chronicle, a successful politics and entertainment magazine, which has won several awards and has launched the careers of many notable writers in the fields of political journalism, entertainment, and fiction.

Maher also helped launch Interactivity, a monthly multimedia magazine for creative professionals. She was Editor-in-Chief of Cadence Magazine, an award winning resource for CAD users.


The 2017 Industrial Vision Round Table

 With the participation of:


godinAlexandre Godin, AIRBUS Emerging Technologies and Concepts

Alexandre Godin is part of an Airbus upstream research team, focused on emerging technologies and their application in aeronautics. Leading Airbus activities on emerging augmented and virtual reality technologies, he mainly bases his work on rapid prototyping methods with rapid iteration cycles.

Trained in bio-engineering and ergonomics, he before used to lead human machine interface developments at the Airbus innovation cell.



BoulangerOlivier Boulanger, Senior Expert in Digital Visualization RENAULT

Master's degree in Science and Techniques, Engineer in Mechanics, he has been working for many years in Digital Visualization, from the 1st machine capable in 1986 to produce an image for the Design with a few polygons up to 2017 in the Sales facilities where UX (User Experience) must be efficient.

Thus, he has been at the initiative and innovation in Driving Simulation (CGI + Interactive systems) from 1986 to 1995 at the RENAULT R&D Department for developing and providing advanced systems to Engineers and Ergonomists (MMI) for studying "software and hardware in the loop" for the car development. It was the beginning of the CGI and the dynamic driving simulators where arriving. In 1996 and during 7 years, at the Design Department of the RENAULT Technocentre, he has developed innovative facilities (CGI production and digital movies and large scale projection systems including VR and AR) for Design/Style purposes … for creative people.

From 2003 to 2009, through the Corporate Communications then IS/IT Departments, he has developed Digital Visualization through the impressive growth of Digital in the WEB and MOBILE facilities. Thus, from 2009 to 2017, as a Senior Expert in Digital Visualization, he has been developing new facilities for Marketing and Sales (including Digital in-store). It is important for him to have a cross culture from Design to Sales, going through engineering and marketing … that is the best way for understanding the internal user needs and final customer expectations.

Thus, he has the understanding of all steps of production and innovation (including POC), from data sourcing (3D, rendering attributes, interactions, IS/IT data) up to restitution in an image or a system like a driving simulator or an immersive system.

His experience in Video Production (including by DRONE) also gives him cross-skills important for Digital Visualization, VR, AR and new trends in Immersive and Digital Video production.





Philipe DAVID, SNCF Research & Innovation

Philippe has a MASTER DEGREE of IA, Pattern recognition and Robotics (IIR) of “Paul Sabatier” university (in Toulouse).

He made all his career to the SNCF (French National Railway Company) within the Innovation and Research direction.

Originally on subjects related to the interfaces “man-machine” and more particularly on the automatic processing of words, then, he turned to the Virtual reality for uses of training mainly.

After a time spent on technology watch, he returns towards the signal processing for the study of the mobility and the information travelers.

Specialist of the geo-localization, Philippe is in charge of the detection part within the project autonomous train.






Olivier DECALF, Projects and Digital Innovation manager in THALES


Graduate of the EM LYON

Associate Partner Industry at IBM during 10 years

Regional director and Manager Research and Development Software Bull during 8 years

Person in charge of Projects and Digital Innovation pole in Thales since 3 years


David DEFIANAS, Virtual Reality Expert for Groupe PSA

David Defianas is part of Groupe PSA support teams focused on digital tools for design in R&D department. Since 2004 he has been working on VR methodologies and tools for R&D department. His work aimed to purpose virtual models to evaluate different kinds of design requirements like architecture, styling, perceived quality, assemblability, ergonomics, … He used to make the link between advanced VR tools and actual needs of end users without forgetting that efficiency is the target. Thus he has been at the initiative of some digital transformations in the design methods for Style/Design/Process mixing rendering, VR and AR.

With the recent spread of VR/AR devices a lot of opportunities for new business appear like marketing or factory of the future. These are the new challenges for him to take up.


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS 2016 (Reminder because it was great too !)


pattieDr. Pattie Maes, MIT Media Laboratory

Pattie Maes is the Alexander W. Dreyfoos (1954) Professor in MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and associate head of the Program in Media Arts and Sciences. She founded and directs the Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces research group. Previously, she founded and ran the Software Agents group. Prior to joining the Media Lab, Maes was a visiting professor and a research scientist at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab. She holds bachelor's and PhD degrees in computer science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Her areas of expertise are human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence. Maes is the editor of three books, and is an editorial board member and reviewer for numerous professional journals and conferences. She has received several awards: FastCompany named her one of 50 most influential designers (2011). Newsweek magazine named her one of the "100 Americans to watch for" in the year 2000; TIME Digital selected her as a member of the Cyber-Elite, the top 50 technological pioneers of the high-tech world; the World Economic Forum honored her with the title "Global Leader for Tomorrow"; Ars Electronica awarded her the 1995 World Wide Web category prize; and in 2000 she was recognized with the "Lifetime Achievement Award" by the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council. She also received an honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. Her 2009 TED talk is among the most watched TED talks ever. In addition to her academic endeavors, Maes has been active as an entrepreneur as cofounder of several venture-backed companies including Firefly Networks (sold to Microsoft) and Open Ratings (sold to Dun & Bradstreet). She remains an advisor and investor to several MIT spinoffs.


Keynote Title: AR and VR for learning and collaboration

Pattie Maes will talk about the opportunities for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to radically change the way we learn and collaborate. She will show some of the prototypes of AR and VR based systems that her research group at the MIT Media Laboratory has developed which will affect learning and collaboration in the realm of education as well as business and industry.



alainPr Alain Berthoz, College de France

Alain Berthoz is an engineer and neurophysiologist, member of the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Technology and honorary professor at the College de France (Chair of physiology of perception and action).


Keynote Title: Virtual avatars and real brains: how do they interact?


 Alain Berthoz will describe recent research on the brain mechanisms underlying brain-avatar relationship and the potential consequences in various fields like  neuropathology diagnostic adn rehabilitation techniques from child development to aging, remediation and education, technology, and modern design in industry. 



oliver bimber copie copie copieDr. Oliver Bimber, Johannes Kepler Univ. Linz

At the age of 36, Oliver Bimber was appointed to a full university professor (2009) and became head of the Institute of Computer Graphics at Johannes Kepler University Linz. From 2003-2010 he served as a Junior Professor of Augmented Reality at the Media System Science Department of Bauhaus-University Weimar. He received a Ph.D. (2002) in Engineering from Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany, and a Habilitation degree (2007) in Computer Science (Informatik) at Munich University of Technology. From 2001 to 2002 Bimber worked as a senior researcher at the Fraunhofer Center for Research in Computer Graphics in Providence, RI/USA, and from 1998 to 2001 he was a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in Rostock, Germany. Earlier affiliations include the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center (New York, USA), the Dundalk Institute of Technology (Dundalk, Ireland), and the University of Applied Science Giessen (Giessen, Germany). Bimber co-authored the book "Displays: Fundamentals and Applications" (2011) with Rolf R. Hainich and the book "Spatial Augmented Reality" (2005) with Ramesh Raskar (MIT). From 2005 until 2015, he served on the editorial board of the IEEE Computer Magazine. The VIOSO GmbH was founded in his group in 2005. He and his students received several awards for their research and inventions, and have won scientific competitions, such as the ACM Siggraph Student Research Competition (1st place 2006 and 2008, 2nd place 2009 and 2011), and the ACM Student Research Competition Grand Final (2006) that was presented together with the Turing award.

Bimber's research interests include visual computing and optics in the context of next-generation display and imaging technologies. Besides work, he likes flying and spending as much time as possible with his wife, Melanie, and his dog, Bailey. We enjoy running and traveling.


Keynote Title: Light-Field Technology: A Revolution to Imaging and Display

Light fields have the potential to revolutionize everything we related to imaging and display technology today. As a four dimensional scene representation, they are more powerful than 3D, and less complex than a 5D plenoptic representation. Modern approaches in optics, material science, and computer science are leading light fields to fundamentally new applications that go far beyond computational photography. 



 Carolina Cruz NeirraDr. Carolina Cruz-Neira, Emerging Analytics Center, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Carolina Cruz-Neira is a pioneer in the areas of virtual reality and interactive visualization, having created and deployed a variety of technologies that have become standard tools in industry, government and academia.  She is known world-wide for being the creator of the CAVE virtual reality system, which was her PhD work, and for VR Juggler, an open source VR application development environment. Her work with advanced technologies is driven by simplicity, applicability, and providing value to a wide range of disciplines and businesses. This drive makes her work highly multi-disciplinary and collaborative, having receiving multi-million dollar awards from the National Science Foundation, the Army Research Lab, the Department of Energy, Deere and Company, and others. She has dedicated a part of her career to transfer research results in virtual reality into daily use in industry and research organizations and to lead entrepreneurial initiatives to commercialize results of her VR research. She is also recognized for having founded and led very successful virtual reality research centers, like the Virtual Reality Applications Center at Iowa State University, the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise and now the Emerging Analytics Center.  She serves in many international technology boards, government technology advisory committees, and outside the lab, she enjoys extrapolating her technology research with the arts and the humanities through forward-looking public performances and installations. She has been named by BusinessWeek magazine as a “rising research star” in the next generation of computer science pioneers, has been inducted as an ACM Computer Pioneer, received the IEEE Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award and the Distinguished Career Award from the International Digital Media & Arts Society among other national and international recognitions.


Keynote Title: Beyond Fun and Games: VR as a Tool of the Trade

The recent resurgence of VR is exciting and encouraging because the technology is at a point that it soon will be available for a very large audience in the consumer market. However, it has also been a little bit disappointing to see that VR technology is mostly being portrayed as the ultimate gaming environment and the new way to experience movies. VR is much more than that, there has been a wide number or groups around the world using VR for the past twenty years in engineering, design, training, medical treatments and many other areas beyond gaming and entertainment that seem to have been forgotten in the public perception. Furthermore, VR technology is also much more than goggles, there are many ways to build devices and systems to immerse users in virtual environments. And finally, there are also a lot of challenges in aspects related to creating engaging, effective, and safe VR applications. This talk will present our experiences in developing VR technology, creating applications in many industry fields, exploring the effect of VR exposure to users, and experimenting with different immersive interaction models. The talk will provide a much wider perspective on what VR is, its benefits and limitations, and how it has the potential to become a key technology to improve many aspects of human life.



christineChristine Perey, AR for Enterprise Alliance

Christine Perey is an industry analyst and active leader of new technology industry initiatives. In 1991 she saw that it would be possible to improve human communication on personal computing devices with audio and video.  She worked as a consultant to the videoconferencing and streaming media industries for over a decade until, in 2006, realized that the future would lead to Augmented Reality. She has started and led many communities of interest. She is an advocate for interoperable Augmented Reality and serves on numerous standards working groups including as co-chair of the IEEE P1589, Augmented Reality Learning Experience Model (ARLEM). She is founder and currently the executive director of the AR for Enterprise Alliance (AREA), the only global member-based organization accelerating AR adoption in enterprise. When not traveling, Christine lives and works in Montreux, Switzerland.


Keynote Title: The Future of Work with Augmented Reality   

In the future Augmented Reality-assisted systems will improve many aspects of the workplace. Dynamically organizing systems with 5G networks, head-mounted optical see-through display devices and a variety of networked objects and sensors, will offer a range of new possibilities. For those who perform tasks involving the manipulation of physical world objects, the suite of technologies will increase productivity and safety while at the same time reducing errors and costs. 



skipDr. Skip Rizzo

Director for Medical Virtual Reality Institute for Creative Technologies - Research Professor USC Davis School of Gerontology and USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences

Psychologist Skip Rizzo conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of virtual reality (VR) systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment rehabilitation and resilience. This work spans the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. Rizzo, whose work using virtual reality-based exposure therapy to treat PTSD received the American Psychological Association’s 2010 Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Treatment of Trauma, is the associate director for medical virtual reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. He also holds research professor appointments with the USC Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Rizzo is working with a team that is creating artificially intelligent virtual patients that clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging clinical interviews and diagnostic assessments. His cognitive work has addressed the use of VR applications to test and train attention, memory, visuospatial abilities and executive function. In the motor domain, he has developed VR game systems to address physical rehabilitation post stroke and traumatic brain injury and for prosthetic use training. He is currently designing VR scenarios to address social and vocational interaction in persons with autistic spectrum disorder. Rizzo is currently examining the use of VR applications for training emotional coping skills with the aim of preparing service members for the stresses of combat. He is senior editor of the MIT Press journal, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. He also sits on a number of editorial boards for journals in the areas of cognition and computer technology (Cognitive Technology; Journal of Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds; Media Psychology) and is the creator of the Virtual Reality Mental Health Email Listserve (VRPSYCH).


Keynote Title: Beyond Video Games: A Virtual Reality Revolution in Behavioral Health

Over the last 20 years, Virtual Reality has moved from being perceived as a “failed technology” to becoming touted as “the next big thing” in media consumption! While multiple forecasters predict that Entertainment (computer games, etc.) will garner the largest VR market share, many place VR healthcare right behind in 2nd place. Now that the technology has caught up with the vision, the established two decades of research on Clinical VR now stands poised to drive the availability of scientifically informed therapeutic consumer products. From VR systems designed to treat Phobias and PTSD to Virtual Human role play systems for teaching social and job interview skills to persons on the autism spectrum, VR will have a significant impact on the future of behavioral healthcare. My talk will touch on the history leading up to this point and where we are heading in the future!



KEYNOTE SPEAKERS 2015 (Reminder because it was great!)

Thanks again folk's!

Virtual Reality and Anxiety



Titulaire de la Chaire de Recherche du Canada en Cyberpsychologie Clinique, UQO, Canada


Anxiety and related disorders are highly prevalent, debilitating and associated with intense suffering and poor quality of life. Forty years of experimental research and randomized control treatment trials have led to the development of effective psychosocial treatments. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses and international treatment guidelines all show that cognitive-behavior therapy is the psychological treatment of choice for anxiety disorders. It is as effective as the most potent medication, without the unwanted negative side effects. The key therapeutic ingredient can be summarized as learning, both emotionally and cognitively, new mental associations between feared stimuli and lack of threat. The most often used cognitive-behavior technique to reach this goal is called exposure and has some limitations that are circumvent by the use of immersions in virtual reality (VR). VR has been used in the treatment of specific phobias for a more than a decade and the field has now grown to the point that VR can be used with complex anxiety disorders and has the potential to be significantly more effective, less costly or better accepted by patients that traditional cognitive behavior therapy.

This opening keynote will present cutting-edge findings on the efficacy and treatment mechanisms of VR used with people suffering from panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A limited number of studies on specific phobias will be mentioned to document the advantages of VR over traditional exposure. It will pave the way for the following talks during the day.


Stéphane Bouchard holds the Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychololgy and teaches cyberpsychology and psychotherapy at the Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau, Canada. As a scientist-practitioner, his research shows an important preoccupation towards conducting both meaningful clinical applications of cyberpsychology and rigorous science to treat anxiety disorders. His current research projects involve developing virtual environments to treat complex anxiety disorders and pathological gambling, leading randomized control trials on the efficacy of in virtuo exposure for anxiety disorders, and conducting experimental studies to understand to why virtual reality is an effective treatment tool. Another prolific area of expertise is telepsychotherapy, where he conducts randomized control trials and processes studies on the efficacy of delivering cognitive-behavior therapy in videoconference. His research lab holds Psyché, the only six-sided total immersion virtual reality system dedicated to mental health research in the world.  He has received for more than 12 millions dollars in infrastructure and research grants, is the co-director of the Cyberpsychology Lab of UQO and the co-editor of a recent book published by Springer entitled Advances in Virtual Reality and Anxiety Disorders. He has published more than 120 scientific articles and book chapters and delivered hundreds of scientific communications around the world and recently received the Prix Adrien Pinard awarded to acknowledge his outstanding contribution to the field of psychology (see for more details).


The Rise of Virtual Humans in Clinical Virtual Reality

Photo Skip Rizzo

Albert "Skip" RIZZO

Ph.D., Director of Medical VR Research, The USC Institute for Creative Technologies - Research Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry and the School of Gerontology - University of Southern California, 12015 East Waterfront Drive, Playa Vista, CA. 90094


Over the last 20 years, a virtual revolution has taken place in the use of Virtual Reality simulation technology for clinical purposes. A short list of areas where Clinical VR has been usefully applied includes fear reduction with phobic clients, exposure therapy for PTSD, stress management in cancer patients, acute pain reduction during wound care and physical therapy with burn patients, body image disturbances in patients with eating disorders, navigation and spatial training in children and adults with motor impairments, functional skill training and motor rehabilitation with patients having central nervous system dysfunction (e.g., stroke, TBI, SCI cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.) and in the assessment (and in some cases, rehabilitation) of attention, memory, spatial skills and executive cognitive functions in both clinical and unimpaired populations. With recent advances in VR technology coupled with positive clinical outcomes, the next major movement in Clinical Virtual Reality will be seen the evolution of intelligent virtual humans. This has been driven by seminal research and development in the creation of highly interactive, artificially intelligent and natural language capable virtual human agents that can engage real human users in a credible fashion. Virtual human representations, no longer at the level of a prop to add context or minimal faux interaction in a virtual world, can be designed to perceive and act in a 3D virtual world, engage in face-to-face spoken dialogues with real users (and other virtual humans) and in some cases, they are capable of exhibiting human-like emotional reactions.

This Keynote will provide a brief rationale and overview of research that has shown the clinical benefits derived from the use of virtual humans. I will then discuss our work developing and evaluating artificially intelligent virtual humans for use as virtual standardized patients in clinical training with novice clinicians. This will be followed by a presentation on the SimCoach project. SimCoach uses virtual humans as online “guides” for promoting access to psychological healthcare information and for assisting military personnel and family members in breaking down barriers to initiating care. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of our current research within the DARPA-funded “Detection and Computational Analysis of Psychological Signals” project, with specific attention to our SimSensei application use case. SimSensei is a virtual human platform able to sense real-time audio-visual signals from users interacting with the system. The platform enables an engaging face-to-face interaction where the virtual human automatically reacts to the estimated state and intent of the user through vocal parameters and facial/body gestures. Much like non-verbal behavioral signals have an impact on human to human interaction and communication, SimSensei aims to capture and infer from user’s non-verbal communication to improve engagement between a VH-human and a user. The system can also quantify sensed signals over time that can inform diagnostic assessment within a clinical context. As technical advances continue, this area of VR development is expected to have a significant impact on how clinical training, clinical support and teletherapy health applications are created in psychology and medicine. For more information on this work, please visit our website: and YouTube channel:


Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a research professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. Skip conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of Virtual Reality systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations. This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. In spite of the diversity of these clinical R&D areas, the common thread that drives all of his work with digital technologies involves the study of how interactive and immersive Virtual Reality simulations can be usefully applied to address human healthcare needs beyond what is possible with traditional tools and methods. In 2010, he received the American Psychological Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Practice of Trauma Psychology for his R&D work on VR exposure therapy. In his spare time, he plays rugby, listens to music, rides his motorcycle and thinks about new ways that VR can have a positive impact on clinical care by dragging the field of psychology, kickin’ and screamin’, into the 21st Century. To view some videos on his work, please visit this YouTube channel:

 Virtual Reality and Entertainment: Lessons Learned at Walt Disney Imagineering



Creative Technology Studio Executive,

Walt Disney Imagineering, USA


While for many people virtual reality didn’t exist prior to the arrival of the Oculus Rift, Walt Disney Imagineering has been experimenting with virtual reality technology for over 20 years and has been creating virtual realities in our parks for almost 60 years.In this talk I will give an overview of the history of virtual reality research and development at Walt Disney Imagineering. Beginning with our earliest experiments using high-end military flight simulator technology, I will describe the path we took that ultimately led to the creation of DisneyQuest, one of the world’s first and largest VR Entertainment centers. I will outline some of the lessons we learned and design rules we followed in the past that can help one today transform a VR experience from a stomach turning disaster to a mind-blowing experience. I will discuss some of the technology alternatives we have explored, such as projector-based augmented reality, to create magical virtual worlds more compatible with the realities of a real-world theme park. I will conclude with a look to the future and a discussion of some of the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. 


Mark Mine, Creative Technology Studio Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, began his Disney career in 1997 and over the past 17 years has delivered dozens of innovative guest experiences and significantly advanced Imagineering’s creative practice. His leadership in 3D pre-visualization tools, including the DISH, has changed the way Imagineers design, evaluate and present concepts and ideas.  Prior to working at Disney, Mark was a system engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena California working on the Voyager Missions to the outer planets. Mark has a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master's of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California, and master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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