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PDXWIT Immerse Yourself in Virtual Reality

Emerge Interactive
412 Southwest 12th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205, US (map)



Are you looking for an event to get better acquainted with Virtual Reality? In partnership with Joshua Alan Young from the Portland VR Meetup, co-organizers Judy Fischbach and Marguerite Gallagher invite you to come learn what Virtual Reality offers and to understand why there is so much trending interest. An emerging technology that is expected to impact many fields, including entertainment, journalism, education, and health care, VR/AR has been identified by the Technology Association of Oregon as one of top areas of technology growth in our state. The community in Portland is gaining momentum. It's an exciting time for many of us to jump in as the technology is so new. The playing field is more level and there is much interest beyond non-technology in areas such as the arts and education. The integrative nature of creating applications in VR can be unique and fun!

Don’t know where to begin? We will have an overview, hands-on opportunities to experience the technology, and information on tools and resources. Our panel will include speakers from the community on VR education and on companies/projects with promising VR related work which demonstrates the variety of exciting applications. Bring your questions!

We promise this will be a fun and memorable evening as we explore ways to grow community together in this fascinating new area of technology!

Agenda: 5:30 - 6:30 : Networking / Trials-Demos / Vendors 6:30 - 6:45 : Welcome and Overview 6:45 - 7:45 : Guest Speakers 7:45 - 8:15 : Networking

Guest Speakers and Talk Description:

Females in social virtual reality get unwanted attention, which is a barrier to widespread adoption. How might we learn more about female users in order to make Social VR appealing to all? Jessica Outlaw and Beth Duckles will share results from their qualitative study of women in social virtual reality and their recommendations for all tech creators.

Jessica Outlaw, M.S., is VR/AR experience researcher and founder of Data Driven LLC. Trained as a behavioral scientist, she uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to strategize and test experiences. She blogs at "The Extended Mind on how changes in the body and the environment influence the way that users think, feel, and behave in VR. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Scripps College and her Masters from U.C. San Diego.

Beth M. Duckles, Ph.D. is a sociologist and ethnographer who has worked in industry, nonprofits, government agencies and higher education. She has taught topics such as qualitative research, energy policy, organizational theory and nonprofit organizations. She received her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Earlham College and her Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Arizona. More information can be found here.

Rachel Bracker is a virtual reality video editor and producer at 360 Labs, a Portland-based VR video production company that creates immersive experiences for clients like Google, The United States Coast Guard, and Columbia Sportswear. A graduate from the University of Oregon's Multimedia Journalism Master's degree program, Rachel specializes in documentary storytelling and is passionate about using VR to tell better stories. She will share her experiences creating 360 videos and provide insight into the inherit strengths of storytelling in this exciting medium.

Kerri Lynne Thorp will be discussing experiments and experience in non-fiction immersive storytelling. Kerri is an artist, futurist and feminist, exploring story and culture through documentary, virtual reality, and public engagement. Her desire to expand access to technology is driven by her use of storytelling as a crucial way to affect social change. Kerri is the Board VP of NW Documentary and Woman Led. She is currently and teaches 360 video production and is developing a mobile art gallery VR application, Kerri is also the creative director for the youth documentary program Produced by Her.

Demo Experience - HAUBERK 360 An interactive 360 exploration of artist Rosana Ybarra's solo exhibition Hauberk. Hauberk is a collection of works that act as hybrid between the amulet (a good luck charm) and the shield which would protect the heart. They are spiritual armor in physical form, a psychic safety zone. They say: better to have false comfort than no comfort at all.

Event FAQ Q: What is the parking situation? A: Public parking and street parking is available (though we cannot validate parking).

Q: Is there secured bike parking? A: There is an open bike room, but please bring locks as it is in a common space.

Q: Should I consider using public transportation? A: We always recommend public transportation as a way to cut down on Co2, and there is plenty of public transportation nearby.

Purpose: PDXWIT is a community-based non-profit organization. Our purpose is to strengthen the Portland women in tech community by offering educational programs, partnerships, mentorships, resources and opportunities. We are unifying a supportive environment for current and potential women in tech, all of whom are committed to helping each other. Our goal is to bring together and empower women in tech and to encourage others to pursue tech careers. This is our step towards reducing the gender imbalance in the industry and addressing the current negative effects of that imbalance on women.

Our events are inclusive. ALL people who support our purpose are welcome.