Leeds XR Society launch event to show creativity behind XR

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Leeds XR Society, whose launch event is taking place this week, aims to demonstrate that XR technology is not just about the hardware and coding behind it, but that creativity is a vital part of every design and application

Quick read

➨ The virtual, day-long Creative Applications of XR Conference will feature Q&A sessions, interactive polls and an Oculus Go giveaway, sponsored by Scaled Insights
➨ The society has lined up 10 high-profile speakers for the event, including three-time TEDx speaker Professor Shafi Ahmed and award-winning VR artist Rosie Summers
➨ The Creative Applications of XR Conference, taking place between 10am and 6pm GMT on 1 August, is free to attend. Register via this link

The story

The future of XR in the UK is looking bright with one group of students at Leeds University forming their own society and planning a launch event on 1 August to showcase their work.

Leeds XR Society’s students attend the University of Leeds in the UK. They formed the group because they want to build a university-wide platform for students, academics, and external organisations to collaborate, innovate, and shape the future of XR.

“We want to demonstrate that XR technology is not just about the hardware and coding behind it, but that creativity is a vital part of every design and every application,” said Anna Goldson, an art and design student, and president of Leeds XR Society.

Goldson continued: “As well as being a mindset, creativity is about having the ability to combine varying fields of industry to collectively produce innovative and exciting outcomes. The possibilities of XR are rapidly and unstoppably growing and it is our job as a society to ensure that our students are prepared to be the driving force of this movement.”

Leeds XR Society’s launch event is taking place on 1 August.

The virtual, day-long Creative Applications of XR Conference will feature Q&A sessions, interactive polls and an Oculus Go giveaway, sponsored by Scaled Insights.

Its organisers want the conference to serve as a platform to promote internships, student-led XR projects and upcoming events.

Goldson said: “These last 12 months have very much been about getting our feet well-rooted and building strong foundations for the coming academic year. We are thrilled to have several projects that we will be announcing during the conference. These projects will allow students to practice and apply their skill sets, creating unique XR content with a beneficial purpose to society, all while interacting directly with external groups and companies.”

The society has lined up 10 high-profile speakers for the event, including three-time TEDx speaker Professor Shafi Ahmed and award-winning VR artist Rosie Summers.

Tomás Borges, a computer Science student and organiser of the Creative Applications of XR Conference, said the society has tried to keep the speakers varied, “so everyone will be bringing forward a different opinion and experience of what they deem to be the ‘creative’ side of XR”.

Borges said: “Innovative surgeon Professor Shafi Ahmed will bring the medical viewpoint right to us, explaining the significance of XR design in the world of medicine. Award-winning VR artist Rosie Summers will showcase and explain her incredible Tilt Brush creations.”

Leeds University is an educational institution lucky enough to have a centre of excellence dedicated to immersive technology.

Set up last year, the Centre for Immersive Technologies calls on the expertise of more than 80 researchers from across the University of Leeds and focuses on health, transport, education, productivity and culture.

Professor Mark Mon-Williams from the Centre for Immersive Technologies will present his experiences using XR to better understand and equip children for their futures at the virtual event on 1 August.

Borges: “So, from surgeons to artists to psychologists, we feel privileged to have all our speakers presenting at Leeds XR Society’s launch event.”

The Creative Applications of XR Conference, taking place between 10am and 6pm GMT on 1 August, is free to attend. Register via this link.

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