San Diego Comic-Con kicks off this week, and if last year is any indicator, we can again expect VR to make a major showing during the four-day conference.
Comic-Con 2016 introduced VR to fans from all over the world last year, with brands like MTV, DC Comics, Conan, FX, Suicide Squad, and Mr. Robot making quite a splash. This week we can expect VR and even AR experiences from Marvel, The Tick, Blade Runner, Legion, Stranger Things, and The Black Eyed Peas.
VR CON @ COMIC-CON
If you’re descending on this massive pop culture event this week, the first place you may want to start is the official VR Con that has expanded into theFuturism & Tech Pavilion.
Acting as a hub for a wide range of VR and AR experiences, VR Con brings attractions from the likes of Paramount Pictures and NBC Universal, as well as a presentation from The Black Eyed Peas for their new AR experience based on the graphic novel “Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles” (Marvel), with AR hardware partner Mira. The event takes place July 19-23 at the Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego, across from the Convention Center.
Compared to last year’s inaugural VR Con, this year the event has more than doubled in size (to over 10,000 square feet). Art exhibits will also be featured, including immersive VR art.
Immersive attractions you can expect:
- Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul in VR – VRWERX presents its “scary as hell” VR attraction based on Paramount Pictures’ movie franchise.
- The Mummy Prodigium Strike VR – A new location-based experience by VR pioneer Starbreeze Studios, in conjunction with NBC Universal, based on the recent Universal Studios film.
- Digital Domain’s Monkey King VR – An action-packed cinematic VR adventure born out of 16th Century Chinese mythology and explored through 21st Century technology.
- Raw Data VR – Feel the rush of battle, awe of exploration, and exhilaration of new experiences — as only Survios can create, and did so in this VR smash hit.
- Qualcomm – San Diego native Qualcomm has assembled experts for a special panel spotlighting their Power Rangers VR project.
- Mira – A mobile-first augmented reality company that makes premium AR experiences available to everyone.
- Mars Odyssey – An interactive single-player VR educational simulation that takes you to the distant red planet to repair NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers – including Viking, Pathfinder, Curiosity, and Opportunity – which have fallen under disrepair.
- Exit Reality – A creator of pop-up VR experiences, their VR Cubes allow for instant virtual arcade fun.
- Stimuli VR – Stimuli glasses replace big, bulky VR headsets to make VR more accessible.
- Bandai Namco’s Project CARS 2 – The sequel to the hit game developed by Slightly Mad Studios and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, get your motor revving in this racing simulation video game. Also available in VR – with both forms being demoed.
- Hyperloop Transportation Technologies – CEO Dirk Ahlborn debuts their VR experience for the station and boarding and their AR collaboration tool Beem on the Microsoft HoloLens.
- Shape Space – Academy Award winning visual effects pioneer and artist Kevin Mack shares his artistic visions as immersive virtual reality art experiences.
- Galactic Gallery VR – A virtual reality “visionary” art gallery where you can interact and go inside the art. A fully immersive experience in the cosmos using the HTC Vive VR platform, SUBPAC, and headphones.
- Survios – The VR game studio behind Raw Data and Sprint Vector will be giving away cool stuff through the run of show.
VR CON’s FUTURISM & TECH PAVILION @ COMIC-CON kicks off on Wednesday, July 19, with a preview day, which includes a media reception and developers preview. Regular days and hours are: Thursday, Friday, Saturday (July 20-22) 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday (July 23) 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The event is in the Grand Ballroom of the Omni San Diego Hotel at 675 L Street, which directly faces the city’s Convention Center, home of Comic-Con, and is next to Petco Park stadium. The event also faces the Game of Thrones attraction, which is housed in the Omni Hotel’s parking structure.
VR & AR Brand Experiences
Here’s what has been teased from brands that are worth checking out:
Legion: Directed by Justin Denton from VR production company Here Be Dragons, Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience will be a 10-minute piece in which you can experience scenes from the first season of the show, as well as get glimpses of the upcoming second season. Both the HoloLens mixed reality headset and live actors will be used to put you in the shoes of character David Haller, a diagnosed schizophrenic who discovers he may actually be a powerful mutant instead. [San Diego Bayfront Lawn – Daily 10AM – 6PM]
The Tick: Amazon is bringing a virtual reality escape room to Comic-Con for their upcoming original series. [1st Ave Trolley Stop – Daily – 9AM – 6PM]
IT: New Line’s feature adaptation of Stephen King’s IT is getting its own installation: a VR school bus experience. [Interactive Zone across from Petco Park – Daily]
Blade Runner 2049: The Blade Runner 2049 experience will feature an art gallery, an Oculus VR experience, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to step into the unique world of Alcon Entertainment’s new film, months before its October 6th theatrical release. The Oculus Rift experience will utilize D-Box chairs in an immersive 24-seat theatre. [ Across from Convention Center – Daily – 10AM – 7PM]
Netflix: Expect three VR experiences: one for Bright, one for Marvel’s The Defenders, and one for Stranger Things. [Hilton Gaslamp – Daily – 11AM – 8 PM]
Also expect panels with industry leaders and special performances at Comic-Con.
- World Creators – Crossing Platforms (Film, TV, VR, AR, Gaming and Comics)
Friday, July 21 at 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Venue: Horton Grand Theatre – 444 Fourth Avenue
A discussion of what it takes to make worlds come alive across a multitude of platforms, featuring some of the greatest creative minds in the business. Panelists include: Ted Schilowitz (Paramount Studios’ Futurist), Kiki Wolfkill (Head, Halo Studios, Microsoft), Randy Pitchford (CEO, Gearbox), Colum Slevin (Head of VR, Oculus), Wayne Kennedy (Digital Domain), Nathan Burba (Survios), Brooks Brown (Starbreeze/StarVR) and Marlene Sharp (Sega).
- Rising Stars in Tech: Drivers of Innovation and Entertainment
Saturday, July 22 at 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Horton Grand Theater – 444 Fourth Avenue
This panel spotlights contributors from the worlds of virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sustainable tech, and robotics. Features innovators from Mira, Survios, Skydance, Bandai Namco, Hanson Robotics (including its robots Sophia and Professor Einstein), Hyperloop, and 360 Dome Pro on a panel moderated by Anastasia Staten, Executive Director, Electronic Software Association (ESA) Foundation.
- Power Rangers VR – Case Study
Saturday, July 22 at 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Horton Grand Theatre – 444 Fourth Avenue
This cutting edge panel presented by Qualcomm describes the journey of adapting the explosive narrative of one of pop-culture’s most exciting franchises, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, from the splendor of cinema to the rad immersion of Virtual Reality, an experience powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon tech. A collaboration between Qualcomm, Saban and Lionsgate. The panel features: David Edwards (SVP Digital Marketing, Lionsgate), Patrick Costello (Senior Director Business Development, Qualcomm); and Jen Cadic (Project Manager, ReelFX).
- Sounds of Sonic
Thursday, July 22 at 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Indigo Ballroom, inside the Bayfront Hilton – 1 Park Boulevard
A live performance of Sonic music by master-producer, composer and guitarist Shota Nakama with a special band. As a musical guest, legendary Sonic Sound Director and Guitarist Jun Senoue, famed for penning many of the game series’ most popular songs will perform with them. This spellbinding experience will feature video footage as well as special arrangements of both classic and new Sonic themes, for a one-night only free performance for Comic-Con badge holders.