On one hand, VR, AR, and MR currently offer a wide open playing field. The story of these new tools and what they’ll mean for the future of entertainment, education, industry, and communication at large has yet to be written. But the fact remains that the barriers to entry are many: equipment, cost, and technical know-how, in addition to the standard requisites of creativity, time, and space. The means to make, distribute, and access content remain frustratingly out of reach, redrawing a digital divide that influences the kinds of stories we tell, who gets to tell them, for whom, and how. As we explore the bounds of VR, AR, and MR, how can we better democratize these new technologies? And what’s at risk of being lost if we fail to do so?
Corporate Vice President HTC Creative Labs
Drew Bamford builds products and experiences at the intersection of human desires and bleeding-edge technologies. He is the Corporate Vice President of HTC Creative Labs, a cross-functional team of researchers, designers, and engineers with offices in Seattle, San Francisco, and Taipei. At HTC, Bamford has helped drive the transformation of HTC from ODM to global consumer brand; today, Bamford and his team are creating the VR experiences that will power HTC’s VIVEPORT content platform in the future. Before joining HTC in 2006, he founded the user experience design practice at TEAGUE. Bamford previously worked at Microsoft Corporation, IDEO, and Silicon Graphics. He holds a degree in Product Design from Stanford University.
Director of Virtual Reality 1215creative
Jenn Duong is the Director of Virtual Reality at 1215creative, a creative agency and production company based in Los Angeles. She oversees all things VR, ranging from creative/ideation to production to postproduction and distribution strategies. In 2016, Duong co-founded SH//FT, an organization that supports equality, diversity, and inclusion in future technologies. She was recently named #22 in Onalytica’s 100 Top Individual Virtual Reality Influencers of 2016. In addition to working at 1215creative, Duong is a mentor at the Upload Collective. Outside of VR, she is always ready to talk about Game of Thrones, House of Cards, and Taylor Swift.
Senior Director of Interactive Programs Tribeca Film Institute
Opeyemi Olukemi is Senior Director of Interactive Programs for Tribeca Film Institute, where she oversees the TFI New Media Fund and leads the Institute's digital interactive programs. Since 2011, Olukemi has expanded the Interactive Department to include TFI Interactive, a day-long immersion into the world of digital storytelling; TFI Interactive Playground, an arena showcasing immersive technologies and projects; Tribeca Sandbox, an interactive resource report; Tribeca Hacks, a creative incubator that mentors storytellers and technologists on creating interactive prototypes; and DEF CON at the Tribeca Film Festival, the hacking conference's only collective convening of their Villages outside of Las Vegas.
Author & Professor Columbia Law School
Tim Wu is an author, policy advocate, and professor at Columbia Law School, and the director of the Poliak Center for the Study of First Amendment Issues at Columbia Journalism School. Wu's best known work is the development of Net Neutrality theory, but he also writes about private power, free speech, copyright, and antitrust. Wu is a contributing writer at newyorker.com and a former contributing editor at the New Republic and his book The Master Switch has won wide recognition and various awards. In 2013, Wu was named one of America's 100 Most Influential Lawyers.