Are our speakers awesome? Duh, everybody knows that! But what’s really under the surface? We’ve asked our speakers to answer a few questions about themselves so we can get to know a bit more about how their minds work.
Liv Erickson, Virtual and Augmented Reality Developer Evangelist at Microsoft.
Liv is passionate about making immersive technologies accessible to everyone, and teaching new developers how to create their own VR & AR experiences. Most recently, she has co-organized the AR/VR Women meetup group and founded the MultiReality Academy, a program designed to help provide an overview of the immersive technology industry for aspiring creators.
Seen anything great lately that inspired you?
There was a story a few months ago about how a surgeon used Google Cardboard to walk through a 3D scan of a baby’s heart in order to identify where the surgery was needed. Seeing how this technology is already, quite literally, saving lives, was an awe-inspiring moment. I’ve also been incredibly impressed with all of the advancements being made in machine learning, data science, and the IOT ecosystem — so much of that has really powerful implications and potential when combined with immersive technologies.
What is the last good book you’ve read?
It’s a little bit of an older book, but Infinite Reality: The Hidden Blueprint of our Virtual Lives is an excellent book that covers some really fascinating studies about how we are affected by different virtual scenarios and environments.
What’s the most exciting thing you’ve been working on lately?
I’ve recently been playing with some ideas around data visualization in virtual reality — immersive technology provides a really wonderful medium for how we understand data sets and patterns in information, and I think that virtual and augmented reality is going to make a very large impact on how we make data-driven decisions in the near future.
Virtual Reality has been a hot topic for ages, with its first attempts dating back to the 80s/90s (remember Nintendo Virtual Boy?), but it’s been picking up a lot of momentum for the last few years with the appearance of devices like Oculus Rift and more recently HTC Vive, Samsung Gear, etc. What do you think it’s gonna be different this time? How does the explosion of smartphones and the web affect how we’ll use virtual reality in the future?
I think fundamentally one of the biggest differences this time around is that the technology is so much more affordable relative to where it was in the past. Quite a few smart phones are now capable of acting as a low-cost VR solution. Software development has also gotten easier — there are a lot of tools being created to make virtual reality development more available to everyone. The combination of mobile phones and modern browsers is making it incredibly affordable and technically feasible for virtual reality to gain popularity this time around.
Does the near future satisfy your childhood expectation? How did you imagine it to be?
The first VR experience that I tried let me live out my childhood dream of being a Jedi Knight — I’d definitely say that it’s more than satisfied my expectations. With the advances being made across the tech industry, the world today feels more and more like a science fiction novel than ever, which is, in my opinion, totally awesome!
Liv is speaking at Full Stack Fest 2016 in Barcelona: Super early bird tickets are currently on sale. Don’t miss out the chance to see him & the rest of our amazing speakers on stage!
Note that we also have a Call For Papers open. We provide paid travel & accommodation for all our speakers, regardless of the selection process. Submit your talk and get early feedback so you increase your chances to get selected!