The first Laval Virtual Conference happened on 3-4 June, 1999 in Laval France, and had a chance to talk with the founder Simon Richir about the 20+ year history of Laval Virtual when I attended in 2019. It’s an amazing history of the evolution of the VR community in Europe that is not widely known within the XR industry here in the United States (or at least I had not heard much discussion about it until I attended in person).
Richir is also a professor at the Arts et Métiers ParisTech, and he’s the editor of the open access journal International Journal of Virtual Reality, which just published the “ConVRgence (VRIC) Virtual Reality International Conference Proceedings” from Laval Virtual 2020 (link to PDF of complete proceedings).
We talk about the evolution of Laval Virtual over the past 20 years where Richir speculated in 2019 that maybe future editions of Laval Virtual would happen in VR. This something that actually came to pass in 2020 during the global cornavirus pandemic when they moved the conference talks online for Laval Virtual World that took place on the Virbela platform.
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Here’s a part of a speech that I made at the Laval Virtual 2019 Awards ceremony reflecting on the community that Laval Virtual has been able to cultivate.
Here is @kentbye closing the Laval Virtual award ceremony by testifying how vivid the French XR community is for 21 years and how it supports the most unique event in the field world wide. Cheers ! https://t.co/P44UKQ1gat
— David Nahon (@iVEvangelist) March 23, 2019
Catching up with Richir a year after this interview at Laval Virtual World:
107/ I collided w @lavalvirtual ConVRgence Chair @simonrichir at the beach spawn point & he shared with me the link to the ConVRgence Conference Proceedings published in the International Journal of Virtual Reality @IJVRjournal started in 1995.
205-pg PDF: https://t.co/fg6fDRPPnH pic.twitter.com/tYQFH8bhDT
— Kent Bye VoicesOfVR (@kentbye) April 24, 2020
Here’s my coverage from Laval Virtual World 2020
1/ THREAD@lavalvirtual conference has started in virtual reality. Thousands of users in VR using the @VirBELA1 platform. They've had an overwhelming response & most of the rooms are too small & it's difficult to see the slides.
Buzzing! #LavalVirtualWorldhttps://t.co/Ttn8VJUyzI pic.twitter.com/yyHTtwWTNt
— Kent Bye VoicesOfVR (@kentbye) April 22, 2020
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