Virtual Laval Heads for Twenty

laval virtualBizarrely, in the middle of the French countryside is a high technology event about VR (and AR and MR). Virtual Laval is in its 19th year as a conference on the development of VR, a consequence of continued French government support since the early interest in VR 20 years ago. After a lot of years, the event is finally in fashion.

Last year, it felt like a French show, but it seemed even more French this year and we heard in the press office that we were almost alone in being from the UK press corps. We also heard that even with the offer of paid flights from Germany, the German press was absent – the clash with CeBIT will not have helped, there. Although most staff on booths were happy in English, and the conference was in English, pretty well all the opening conversations on booths were in French. There were a couple of Chinese booths that seemed to be staffed by people that could speak neither French, nor English, which seemed somewhat wasteful!

Last year, we didn’t even find the conference in time for the talk we wanted to attend. This year, it still took 20 minutes to find out where the conference was (in a separate building, a short walk away), but, luckily, delays because of A/V problems meant that we arrived just as the talks started and we didn’t miss anything. Comments to the organisers simply yielded a ‘what can you do, it’s run by student volunteers?’. Let’s just ascribe that to a French shrug….

The show had less of a hardware and less commercial emphasis this year, with, it seemed to me, more integrators and service providers as well as many, many small companies and start ups that were developing games and entertainments. Anyway, we managed to find a number of interesting display topics to cover.

Laval Virtual 2017