• 1871 (map)
  • 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza
  • Chicago, IL, 60654
  • United States

At the May 2015 WWCHI event we take a look at how wearable technology is enabling immersive experiences using augmented (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The night features Lyteshot as they present their first-of-its-kind AR-based mobile gaming platform, Technexus on the changing role of first responders with wearable tech and tips on how to design and develop for VR with Cubicle Ninjas and a panel discussing the use of VR in various verticals with Cubicle Ninjas, Anarchist and ChicagoInno.

Augmented  and virtual reality is set to explode over the next five years with forecasts predicting these technologies will see over $150 billion in revenue by 2020 according to a recent report. Much of this growth is due to the advancements in wearable technology especially with smart glasses and HMDs (head-mounted displays) including Epson Moverio, Hololens, Magic Leap, Sony's Morpheus, Oculus Rift, HTC's Vive and Samsung's Gear VR.

From gaming and entertainment, to enterprise and communications, AR and VR are expected to impact all facets of our life by offering immersive experiences that go well beyond mobile. At this event we will be featuring some of the companies leading the charge in AR and VR in creating these experiences.

Our evening will kick-off with three presentations on AR & VR followed by a panel-style conversation on immersive experiences with VR. Chicago-based gaming startup, Lyteshot will be presenting its AR-based gaming system which is taking gaming out of the living room and into the real world. Technexus will talk about wearable tech changing the role of first responders which relates to its recent partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) and the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) as part of the EMERGE! program creating wearable tech for First Responders. Cubicle Ninjas, who are behind the popular VR experience Guided Meditation, will talk about some key things to consider when designing and developing for virtual reality. 

In our panel, we will focus our discussion on the use of VR to create immersive experiences in various verticals from entertainment to productivity and training. Joining the conversation is Josh Farkas of Cubicle Ninjas, Bobby Boyd of  Anarchist and Will Flanagan of ChicagoInno.

In our demo area, you'll get a chance to check out Lyteshot's gaming system in action and try out some virtual reality experiences from Cubicle Ninjas and Anarchist. And of course have beer and pizza on us!


6-6:30: Doors Open and Registration

6:30-6:35: Opening Remarks & Welcome

6:35-6:50: Presentation by Lyteshot by Mark Ladd, CEO & Founder

6:50-7:05: Presentation by Brendan Karp, Technexus - "Wearables impact on the role of the first responder"

7:05-7:20: Presentation by Josh Farkas - "Designing and Developing Experiences for VR"

7:20-7:45: Immersive experiences with Virtual Reality panel

  • Bobby Boyd - CEO, Anarchist Inc.
  • Josh Farkas - CEO, Cubicle Ninjas 
  • Will Flanagan, GM at Chicago Inno 
  • Moderated by Tom Emrich - Founder, We Are Wearables

7:45-9:30: Demo Area Open + Bar & Food

  • Lyteshot, the first AR-based mobile gaming platform
  • Anarchist, creating data visualizations in VR
  • Cubicle Ninjas, makers of the VR app Guided Meditation

A big thanks to our sponsor Uproar PR for making this event possible. And to our community partner 1871 for hosting us again this month.

About Our Speakers

Bobby Boyd is a technologist, entrepreneur, and the founder of Anarchist. He remembers his first experience programming computers as scribbling code for a text adventure game in pencil before owning a computer to run it on. His career highlights include bouts with global network engineering, online wagering, and building distributed financial systems at scale.

Mark J. Ladd is the CEO and Co-founder of LyteShot, has over 22 years of management experience leading design and technical innovation for large multi-national architectural/engineering and emerging services companies. As a former programmer, Mark has led national strategic technology initiatives and platform implementation in 3D visualization for built environments including leading the building the development of the building information modeling (BIM) environment for such projects as the new NATO HQ in Brussels and the SSA's new Central Office and Data Center in Maryland. In addition, Mark led the formation of Millennium Development Group, a national real-estate build-to-suit start-up. As a fan of interactive entertainment, Mark was an early investor in Build-a-Bear and still continues to be an avid gamer.

Josh Farkas creates. He created for ten years as an illustrator, designer, and developer for startups and global Fortune 500 brands. In 2008, he created Cubicle Ninjas to bring powerful design to clients through an innovative and customer-focused approach. As CEO at Cubicle Ninjas he leads the creation of new initiatives, like Guided Meditation VR a virtual reality application for the Oculus Rift that helps people to relax wherever and whenever. He'd love to help you create too.

Brendan Karp is an entrepreneur passionate about startups, innovation, and the opportunities they create to build businesses and have a positive impact on the world.  He works at TechNexus, a venture collaborative headquartered at an incubator in Chicago, that is redefining venture development and investing, because incumbent companies and industry leaders are facing challenges like never before. TechNexus hosts, mentors and invests in growth-stage startups that are willing to work with larger businesses to reach customers and markets faster, better and more profitably. They engage with corporations to identify, source and manage ventures as first customers, partners, licensees, and or investors.  Brendan currently sits on the advisory board of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council as well.

Will Flanagan is the General Manager at Chicago Inno. Fan of innovation, content, and creating content innovatively. I'm way into trying to make people laugh. Hit me up on MySpace.

About Our Exhibitors

Anarchist is about augmenting human abilities through technology. Our mission is to streamline the man-machine interface. Learn more about Anarchist at www.anarchist.com

Cubicle Ninjas is a full-service creative design and development agency. The company utilizes an innovative design-focused development approach that transforms ideas into highly effective and impactful deliverables. Clients enjoy a process that is customer-focused, collaborative, and fun. Cubicle Ninjas handles a variety of creative and development work for clients including: print, presentation, brand, web, motion, and virtual reality apps including Guided Meditation VR. Learn more at CubicleNinjas.com.

Lyteshot: With more than 20 years of game development experience from numerous AAA game studios such as Disney Interactive, Activision, Konami, Midway, and Sony, the LyteShot (www.lyteshot.com) team brings the expertise of interactive mobile gaming and the hardware design and development expertise needed to bring the LyteShot hardware and peripheral platform to fruition. LyteShot’s team shares a diverse range of skills and experiences, from traditional game development to architecture and design of 3D virtual environments. 

About Our Sponsors

1871 is an entrepreneurial hub for digital startups. Located in The Merchandise Mart, the 75,000-square-foot facility provides Chicago startups with programming, access to mentors, educational resources, potential investors and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs that help them on their path to building successful businesses. Recently ranked 9th in the world in the 2014 UBI Index list of top university-associated business incubators, 1871 has become a global leader in the entrepreneurial community. 1871 is the flagship project of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. For more information, visit 1871.com

Uproar PR is an innovative consumer technology public relations and social media agency. Along with their other technology practices, the firm has successfully built brand recognition for its wearable tech clients.  Within the Toronto and Waterloo communities, Uproar works with Thalmic Labs, Bionym Kiwi Wearables and PUSH.  With Uproar's media relations experience, those companies have been featured in media outlets including The Today Show, Business Insider, New York Times and CNBC, just to name a few. The firm specializes in developing campaigns that drive awareness and sales, creating industry buzz.  For more information, visit www.uproarpr.com 

Want to help out at the event or sponsor? Contact us at chicago@wearewearables.com.