Chris Pfaff

VR AR Global Summit Online – June, 2020: Chris Pfaff moderates panels on collaborative VR tools and producing in XR

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Chris Pfaff moderated two sessions during the first VR AR Global Summit Online, produced by the VR AR Association, on June 2nd and 3rd, 2020. The first session, ‘Collaboration Tools in VR: Developing Virtual Creativity in the Age of Social Distance’ was held on June 2nd and featured two of the leading platforms for VR collaboration – Glue, represented by Jani Leskinen, head of sales, and MeetinVR, represented by founder/CEO, Cristian-Emanuel Anton – and one of the leading virtual theater producers, Keira Benzing. The session was voted in the Top 5 of the more than 200 sessions held during the summit.

Jani Leskinen (top left), head of sales for Glue; Chris Pfaff (top right), moderator; Cristian-Emanuel Anton (lower left), founder/CEO of MeetinVR, and Keira Benzing (lower right), from DoubleEye Studios, discuss collaborative VR experiences

The second session, ‘Producing in XR: How to Create Unique Stories for Immersive Audiences’ was held on June 3rd, and featured

* Chloé Jarry, CEO/executive producer, Lucid Realities Studio

* Maciej Wisniewski, founder/producer, 99 Cent Opera

* Rafael Pavon, director/creative producer for VR/AR

* Pouria Kay, CEO, Grib

The session included a look at 99 Cent Opera’s EVR-1 blockchain VR game, as well as Chloé Jarry’s immersive experiences, Rafael Pavon’s leading VR work, and Pouria Kay’s AR platform, Grib. The stimulating conversation on how producers are developing new stories for XR platforms can be viewed at:

Maciej Wisniewski (upper left), from 99 Cent Opera; Rafael Pavon (upper center); Chloé Jarry (upper right), from Lucid Realities Studio; Pouria Kay (lower left), from Grib, and Chris Pfaff, moderator (lower center), as Rafael Pavon demonstrates some of his work

Pouria Kay (lower left) presents the Grib platform for immersive and AR production 

Chloé Jarry presents some of her work 

Maciej Wisniewski presents a preview of EVR-1, from 99 Cent Opera

Discussion with the full panel: Rafael Pavon (upper left); Chris Pfaff (upper right); Chloé Jarry (middle left); Maciej Wisniewski (middle right), and Pouria Kay (lower center)

Arctic15 in Stockholm, February, 2020: Chris Pfaff leads the Media Revolution Track

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Jan Ameri, CEO of Arctic15, welcomes the crowd on Day 1 of Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

Peter Vesterbacka kicks off the show on D/ay 1 with a heady talk

Our good friends at Arctic15 held one of the last events in the venture world before lockdown at the Münchenbryggeriet in Stockholm, on February 5th and 6th. The sprawling event space was ideal for making new contacts, and dozens of new investors and start-ups crowded the Deal Room area (a much more commodious and well-lit space than the Cable Factory in Helsinki). This was the first legitimate Arctic 15 event in Stockholm, and the likes of Industrifonden, Northzone, Bonnier Ventures, Ericsson Ventures, Luminar Ventures, Creandum and GP Bullhound, among other reputable Swedish investors, welcomed founders and investors alike at their stands facing massive windows overlooking a surprisingly sunny Stockholm sky.

Outside, and inside, the Münchenbryggeriet

Chris Pfaff chaired the Media Revolution track on Day 1, which included a fireside chat with Arctic15 CEO Jan Ameri and the legendary Tommy Palm (Candy Crush Saga, King Digital Entertainment, Resolution Games), a panel moderated by Pfaff, with Harri Manninen, Finnish gaming legend and founding partner of Play Ventures, and Joakim Dal, partner at GP Bullhound. The panel, ‘How Gaming Will Dominate the Entertainment Industry in the 2020s,’ can be heard at:

https://bit.ly/3gXFKL4

Chris Pfaff introduces the Media Revolution Track at Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

 

Tommy Palm (left) discusses gaming with Jan Ameri

Harri Manninen (left), from Play Ventures, Joakim Dal (center), from GP Bullhound, and Chris Pfaff (right), from Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC, discuss ‘How Gaming Will Dominate the Entertainment Industry in the 2020s’

Other sessions on the track included a showcase demo of Playpilot by founder/CEO David Mühle; a keynote – ‘Scale 10X like a Mobile Game Company’ – by Sonja Ängeslevä, product lead for Zynga; a fireside chat with Epidemic Sound founder/CEO Oscar Höglund and Staffan Helgesson, general partner at Creandum, and a rousing fireside chat to finish, with Jan Ameri and Yamba founder/CEO John Zerihoun.

David Mühle, founder/CEO of Playpilot, demonstrates the service on Day 1 of Arctic15 Stockholm

Sonja Ängeslevä, product lead for Zynga, gives a keynote – ‘Scale 10X Like a Mobile Game Company’ – on Day 1 or Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

 

Pfaff moderated a panel on Day2, ‘Journeys of AI & ML startups in the Nordics’ with Anna Holmquist, founder/CEO of Gazzine; Arash Pendari, founder/creative director of Vionlabs; Jonna Ekman, marketing director at Storykit, and Jonathan Selbie, CEO at Univrses.

Anna Holmquist, from Gazzine (with microphone), discusses her journey to AI

Arash Pendari (with microphone) discusses Vionlabs’ work with leading operators

Jonna Ekman (with microphone) explains Storykit’s value proposition

The panel, left to right: Jonna Ekman, Anna Holmquist, Chris Pfaff, Arash Pendari, Jonathan Selbie

Jonna Ekman (far left), from Storykit; Anna Holmquist, from Gazzine (second from left), Arash Pendari (center), from Vionlabs, Jonathan Selbie, from Univrses (2nd from right), and Chris Pfaff (far right), from Chris Pfaff Tech Media LLC

With a reception at Stockholm City Hall, and a grand tour of the historic building on Night 1 and a fabulous dinner at Stockholm Fisk, hosted by Epistemic VC and Northzone on Night 2, Arctic15 closed out another strong event in high fashion.

 

The scene at Stockholm City Hall, with (left to right) Chris Pfaff, Jordan Shapiro, VP, IonQ; Jari Mieskonen, managing partner, Conor Venture Partners; Henrik Keinonen, head of partnerships, gaming/XR/blockchain, from NewCoHelsinki/City of Helsinki, and Jan Ameri, CEO of Arctic15

 

Jan Ameri (standing) addresses the crowd at Stockholm Fisk

Chris Pfaff and Peter Vesterbacka discuss the “FinEst Bay” concept of connecting Helsinki and Tallinn via tunnel

Chris Pfaff, Arash Pendari, and Tomas Bennich on Day 1 of Arctic15 Stockholm 2020

‘AI and ML Take Over TV: Monetizing Every Pixel’ Panel at the TV of Tomorrow Show New York – December 4, 2019

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The latest edition of the TV of Tomorrow Show New York, in a new location at Town Stages in TriBeCa, delivered a day’s worth of engaging discussion and demos of advanced TV and OTT analytics and programmatic ad solutions on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. I produced and moderated the ‘AI and ML Take Over TV: Monetizing Every Pixel’ panel, which featured a powerhouse of experts in visual content automation and AI, including Richard Collins, CEO of Tellyo; Randa Minkarah, COO and co-founder of Transform Inc.; Phil Zepeda, vice president, product & marketing at Vilynx, and Thomas Jelonek, CEO of envision AI.

You can listen to the full session at: https://lnkd.in/e9hd-aG

Chris Pfaff, Richard Collins, Randa Minkarah, Phil Zepeda, and Thomas Jelonek, after the ‘AI and ML Take Over TV’ panel, December 4, 2019

Richard Collins discusses Tellyo’s multichannel automation features

Phil Zepeda discusses Vilynx’s content sentiment detection features

Randa Minkarah discusses Transform’s curation features

Thomas Jelonek discusses envision AI’s intelligent tagging features

Simon Applebaum (back to camera) asks a question of Richard Collins, from Tellyo, at the ‘AI and ML Take Over TV’ panel

Ravi Peravali, from event sponsor Tavant, with TV of Tomorrow Show founder and CEO, Tracy Swedlow

 

 

 

 

‘Expert Storytelling in XR’ panel at the 2nd Annual VR/AR Global Summit in Vancouver, November 1-2, 2019

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The 2nd Annual VR/AR Global Summit at the Parq Vancouver, from November 1-2, 2019, featured some of the leading brands in the broader XR space, including Apple, Lenovo, Viacom, Niantic, and Microsoft, among others. A diverse array of use cases and new solutions for VR training were demonstrated throughout the event. The event, produced by the VR/AR Association, showcased a solid representation from local Vancouver firms, validating Vancouver’s status as the leading visual effects and animation cluster in the world, a growing presence in the broader XR arena.

I produced and moderated a packed house for the ‘Expert Storytelling in XR’ panel on Day 2 of the event, November 2nd, featuring Srinivas Krishna, founder/CEO, GeogramMichael Owen, CEO, MediaCombo, and Amy Lou Abernethy, President, Creative Director, and Chief Learning Strategist at AMP Creative. Srinivas showed off his latest technology for virtual event production and promotion; Michael showed off his work in AR museum curation, and Amy Lou showed off AMP Creative’s work in VR empathy training.

Michael Owens, Srinivas Krishna, Amy Lou Abernethy, and Chris Pfaff, after the ‘Expert Storytelling in XR’ panel, November 2, 2019

Chris Pfaff, Srinivas Krishna, Michael Owen, and Amy Lou Abernethy, at the opening reception for the VR/AR Global Summit, October 31, 2019

Kris Kolo, executive director of VRARA, Chris Pfaff, and Michael Owen, at the opening reception for the VR/AR Global Summit, October 31, 2019

Chris Pfaff, Alan Smithson, and Michael Owen, at the opening reception for the VR/AR Global Summit, October 31, 2019

Alan Smithson discusses MetaVRse’s latest ed-tech work, while Sophia Loren looks on

Galit Ariel and Chris Pfaff, after Galit’s presentation, November 1, 2019

Group shot of attendees at the Vancouver Economic Commission’s VIP Dinner, at the Hawksworth Restaurant, November 1, 2019

Augmented World Europe (AWE) Expo in Munich – October 17-18, 2019

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The Augmented World Expo (AWE) Expo Europe conference, held at the MOC Exhibition Center in Munich on October 17-18, 2019 was an intense assemblage of leading enterprise solutions experts from some of Europe’s most prominent industrial companies, from Deutsche Telekom to Alstom and Siemens. A strong showing from the Finnish VR/AR scene – including Varjo, Glue, Dispelix, and Immersal – and a diverse showing of German industrial XR solutions proved that Northern Europe is well-positioned to lead innovation in the XR space in the new decade.

I chaired Day 2 of the Enterprise Track, on Friday, October 18th, and had an incredibly strong line-up of presenters. All but one showed up; Citrix’s Christian Reilly (who was slated to lead off the afternoon sessions with a talk entitled ‘Future of Work: The Next Technological Revolution’) was a no-show, but I managed to conduct a one-on-one stand-up chat with one of his competitors – Matt Copping, director of AR/VR at VMware. Dirk Hartmann, from Siemens, did not show, but his colleague, Theodoros Papadopoulos, presented solo. Daniel Seidl, from Innoactive, showed a QR code on his presentation, and got more than 20 leads in one minute. Megan Lubaszka, from Gensler, had a packed house, as did Nestle’s Richard Hess, and the last presentation of day, from heavyweight Alstom, saw presenter Aurelie Perruchon swamped with audience members pitching her after the track’s sessions ended.

Presenters included:

  • Panagiotis-Alexandros Bokaris, L’Oreal: Video-projected Augmented Reality in the Beauty Industry
  • Jana Gerl, Vuframe GmbH, Virtual & Augmented Business: How to Discover and Leverage Immersive Data You Already Onw
  • Richard Hess, Nestle, Scaling XR at Nestle
  • Daniel Seidl, Innovative: Challenges and Best Practices in Adopting and Scaling VR Training in Enterprise
  • Barbara Schiavi, VINCI Construction France: Use Case: Construction Use Cases for AR and VR
  • Megan Lubaszka, Gensler: AR, VR, AI and the Future of Spatial Computing
  • Mattias Johansson, Tetra Pak: Automation Today and in Tetra Pak’s Factory of the Future
  • Theodoros Papadopoulos, Siemens AG: Design Concept in VR – Democratizing Simulation World
  • Gary Smith, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water: MR in Industry – Risk Reduction or Risk Generation
  • Eletheria Kouri, ABI Research: An Accurate ROI Story: Identifying Impactful Variables in AR/VR Implementations
  • Aurelie Perruchon, Alstom: AR/VR Use Cassetin Alstom

#AWE2019 #AugmentedReality #VirtualReality  www.awexr.com/eu-2019/www.awexr.com

Chris Pfaff, chairing the Enterprise Track on Day 2 of the Augmented World Expo (AWE) Europe, in Munich, October 18, 2019

Chris Pfaff, chair of Day 2 of the Enterprise Track, at the standee for Augmented World Expo (AWE) Europe, in Munich, October 18, 2019

Richard Hess, from Nestle, discusses XR use cases for the brand

Megan Lubaszka, from Gensler, discusses the future of spatial computing

Daniel Seidl, from Innoactive, discusses VR training for the enterprise

Chris Pfaff and Panagiotis-Alexandros Bokaris, from L’Oreal, at the start of Day 2 of the AWE Europe Enterprise Track, October 18, 2019

Chris Pfaff and Philip Wogart, executive director, DACH, at the VR/AR Association (VRARA), at a VRARA dinner on October 17, 2019

Chris Pfaff and Wade Tinney, chief product officer of Patched Reality, on Day 2 of AWE Europe, October 18, 2019

Chris Pfaff, Brian Kane, from Magic Leap, and Leif Arne Petersen, CEO/founder of HOLOGATE, at the Hologate headquarters, October 18, 2019

The winners of the AWE Europe Awards, onstage at the closing awards ceremony, October 18, 2019

 

TV of Tomorrow Show San Francisco, 2019: ‘AI and ML in the TV Industry: Mining Data in Every Corner’ panel

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The TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco, held at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio, June 12-13, 2019, was a solid event. I moderated a panel – ‘AI and ML in the TV Industry: Mining Data in Every Corner’ – that brought together an incredibly rich array of perspectives on AI from five different solutions providers, including Randa Minkarah, COO and co-founder, Transform Inc.; Juan Carlos Riveiro, CEO, Vilynx; Kevin Gou, CEO, Hive; Aman Sareen, CEO, ZypMedia, and Arun Prakash, CFO, Cerebri AI.

The discussion ran from use cases of AI and ML in the OTT world as it reflects customer journey; content curation; content distribution, and programmatic advertising.

Chris Pfaff leads discussion on the ‘AI and ML in the TV Industry’ panel

Aman Sareen, from ZypMedia, discusses his approach to AI-powered local-first programmatic advertising

Kevin Gou discusses Hive Data, and how to build machine learning models 

Chris Pfaff, Aman Sareen, Randa Minkarah, J.C. Riveiro, Arun Prakash, and Kevin Gou, after the ‘AI and ML in the TV Industry’ panel

Arctic 15 Fireside Chat: The Ethics of AI, with Pia Erkenhiemo, iloom.io founder

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At Arctic 15 in Helsinki, I conducted a fireside chat on the ethics of AI with Pia Erkenheimo, founder and chief orchestrator of iloom.io (http://www.iloom.io), on Thursday, June 6th, from 1:20-1:45 pm on theAccenture AI Track at Arctic 15, at the Cable Factory (Kaapelitehdas, Tallberginkatu 1) in Helsinki.

iloom.io uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to analyze authentic text and language that employees and customers use to deliver narrative understanding beyond words. In addition to her role with iloom.io, Pia is also chairman of Solved – the clean tech company; serves on various company boards, is an AI researcher at the Aalto School of Science and Technology, and serves as an innovation expert and evaluator for the European Commission.

The conversation discussed the recent geopolitical issues with social media and targeted messaging and advertising, and how AI tools can spot and manage manipulation of public conversations. Pia’s work on the venture and non-government agency (NGO) sides lent great credence to the overall topic, and she hinted at further coming work on her behalf to help stem the tide of AI run amok in the public sphere.

Chris Pfaff and Pia Erkenheimo discuss the ethics of AI at Arctic 15 on June 6, 2019 at the Cable Factory, Helsinki

Chris Pfaff and Pia Erkenheimo discuss conversational topics prior to their fireside chat on the ethics of AI at Arctic15, on June 6, 2019

Chris Pfaff and Pia Erkenheimo enjoy radiant sunshine outside the Cable Factory in Helsinki, prior to their fireside chat on the ethics of AI at Arctic15, June 6, 2019

New Jersey Tech Council Future Forum Panel – ‘AI: The Challenges Ahead’

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For the 3rd straight year, the New Jersey Tech Council (NJTC) has held a day-long forum on various technology topics at Bell Works in Holmdel. This year’s Future Forum, on May 7th, featured a panel, ‘AI: The Challenges Ahead,’ in which I participated, with moderator Steve LeVine, from Axios, and featuring K.P. (Suba) Subbalakshmi, from Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Anastassia Loukina, from Educational Testing Service, and Brian McLaughlin, from Rutgers University. It was great to discuss AI topics with academics, since I have worked with several researchers from European universities in the AI field. This was one of those sessions that could have gone on for much longer, and it was great to finally meet Steve LeVine in person. It was also great to see how much progress has been made on Bell Works, which has grown immeasurably in the past two years. The event concluded with a reception and award ceremony on the Bell Works palazzo, complete with aerialists and characters from ‘Game of Thrones’ (the Night King was quite evident). The old Bell Labs space that I knew so well from the late 1990s has become a thriving hub for innovation and commerce – a minor miracle considering its overwhelming size.

Steve LeVine, from Axios; Suba Subbalakshmi from Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Chris Pfaff; Anastasia Loukina, from Educational Testing Service, and Brian McLaughlin, from Rutgers University, on the ‘AI: The Challenges Ahead’ panel at the NJTC Future Forum

(from left to right) Steve Socolof, from Tech Council Ventures speaks with attendee; Sid Ahuja, from Yorktel, and Chris White, from Nokia Bell Labs, before Chris White’s keynote presentation at the NJTC Future Forum

Chris Pfaff, Sid Ahuja, and Steve Socolof, after the event: the old Lucent New Ventures Group gang has a reunion

Sanjay Macwan (with microphone), from Vonage, speaks on the AI Perspectives panel, with Kurt Bettenhausen, from Siemens; Merwan Mereby, from Panasonic, Dan Tinkoff, from McKinsey, and Ibrahim Mohamed, from Google

Chris Pfaff and Sanjay Macwan, at the NJTC Future Forum reception

Chris Pfaff encounters the Night King at the NJTC Future Forum reception

The stilt lady at the NJTC Future Forum reception: I have always looked up to her; she has always looked down on me

The old transistor-inspired water tower at the entrance to Bell Works, Holmdel, NJ

 

VR/AR Association New York Chapter Celebrates 3 Years at RLAB

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The third anniversary of the VR/AR Association (VRARA) New York chapter was a positive snapshot on the growth of the immersive/XR industry in the greater New York area in the past few years. The event was hosted on Tuesday evening, May 21st, at RLAB (https://www.rlab.nyc), the massive space that NYU and its academic and City of New York partners opened in late-November, 2018. RLAB hosts several companies, including members of its XR Beta program, and is being built out as a larger facility for immersive innovation, including volumetric capture space.

Dex Yee (left), from VRARA, watches as Jason T. Jaslow signs in the VRARA NY 3rd anniversary

Chris Pfaff, VRARA NY Chaper advisor, welcomes the crowd at RLAB

As VRARA has grown globally, so too has its New York chapter, and this mirrors the broader focus on the XR industry in New York, which embraces enterprise and consumer firms alike.

Banu Ozden in discussion with Janice Brown, manager, education and outreach at RLAB

Robin White Owen and Michael Owen, the first XR couple of Brooklyn, at Rlab

Unseen Media demos its soon-to-be-released narrative AR game

Gur Arie Bittan, from Mantis Vision, demos for Banu Ozden and Jeffrey Ginsberg

More than 50 guests attended the mixer event, which featured demos from XR Beta companies, as well as Mantis Vision (http://mantis-vision.com), and remarks by RLAB’s Alexis Seeley and VRARA New York chapter advisor Chris Pfaff. And, of course, numerous demos of mobile AR experiences were shown by VRARA members as well.

Robin White Owen and Michael Owen listen to Tim Meyer, from IBM’s IoT group

Alexis Seeley, director of education and opportunity programs at Rlab, welcomes the crowd

Mantis Vision’s mo-cap installation, and some of its forthcoming collaboration tools, were a major hit at the event. Unseen Media ((https://www.unseenmedia.io), a narrative AR game developer, demonstrated its soon-to-be-released game, while echoAR (https://www.echoar.xyz), and AR-focused CMS and CDN provider, and SIY (Speak it Yourself – https://www.siyvr.com), a VR-based language instruction firm, demonstrated their solutions as well.

Chris Pfaff and Gordon Meyer, one of the Top 5 AR influencers in the industry

Chris Pfaff and Kate Specter, from Toonpack, at Rlab

Alexis Seeley and Janice Brown, with Rlab, prior to the VRARA event

 

TV of Tomorrow Show New York Panel, ‘Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for the OTT Universe’

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It is always a pleasure to work with Tracey Swedlow and her team at the TV of Tomorrow Show. I have known Tracy since 1998, and she has indefatigably helped lead the discussion around advanced TV and video for more than two decades. And, yes, we shared the virtual stage in a famous Producers Guild of America (PGA) New Media Council event in February, 2008 (it was a webcast, with me in New York at the New School; she in San Francisco, at the Macromedia building), in which we presented panelists and debated the New York vs. San Francisco tech/new media scene.

At the recent TV of Tomorrow Show New York, held at the SVA Theatre in Manhattan on December 7th, 2018, I moderated a session, ‘Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence for the OTT Universe,’ that dove into a wide range of issues facing broadcasters; MSOs; user-generated content, and advertisers as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) increase their sophistication in the overall OTT world.

My panelists included:

Romain Eude, CEO/founder, Utelly

Randa Minkarah, COO, Transform

Janne Neuvonen, CEO/co-founder, BCaster

Aman Sareen, CEO, Zypmedia

Have a listen to the audio from this session by clicking the link embedded in this post from the TV of Tomorrow site:

https://thetvoftomorrowshow.com/radio-itvt-machine-learning-and-artificial-intelligence-ott-universe