The HarvardXR Conference, which took place last Saturday, April 15th, showcased the latest advancements in extended reality (XR) and the metaverse.

The conference was brought to life by the collective efforts of its four talented and dedicated founders: Yun Fan from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Jenny (Shangjun) Jiang from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Nix Liu Xin from the Harvard Design School, and Jiajian Min from the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences CAMLab. These visionary individuals, each with a unique background and expertise in their respective fields, joined forces to create an exceptional event promoting collaboration and innovation within the XR and metaverse industries. Their passion for advancing immersive technologies and commitment to fostering connections among professionals, investors, and experts culminated in the highly successful HarvardXR Conference, leaving an indelible impact on all who attended.

HarvardXR Founders

HarvardXR Founders

Axon Park was honored to be invited to participate in the conference, with Alistair Hume representing the company as one of the event’s headline speakers. The Axon Park team also conducted a breakout workshop focused on metaverse world building and development in Unreal Engine 5. Our visionary World Builder, Taja Sukarya, and brilliant Head of Engineering, Francesco Sapio PhD, shared the stage with Alistair to offer their insights on metaverse design and engineering.

HarvardXR Speakers

HarvardXR Speakers

Alvin Wang Graylin, a VR legend and the Global VP of Corporate Development at HTC, took center stage as the keynote speaker at the HarvardXR Conference. With his extensive experience and deep knowledge of the industry, Alvin captivated the audience with his insights on the future of XR and AI technologies. His thought-provoking address underlined the importance of embracing these technologies and their inevitable proliferation, setting the tone for a highly engaging and informative conference. Alvin’s visionary perspective and keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry served as an inspiration for all in attendance, as they explored the potential of XR and AI to reshape our world.

Alvin Wang Graylin HTC

Alvin Wang Graylin – Credit: HTC

In his keynote address, Graylin left us with an inspiring quote – “All technology goes through cycles…both XR and AI have had their ‘winters,’ but the proliferation of both is inevitable.

The conference agenda was packed with informative and engaging content, covering a wide range of topics related to XR and the metaverse. Some of the key agenda highlights included:

  • The Metaverse and Its Impact on Business: Monica Arés, Founder of XR at Th3 Third Door and the former head of Immersive Education at Meta, explored the ways the metaverse is changing the way we learn, highlighting opportunities for innovation and collaboration in virtual environments.
  • Gamification and Behavioral Design: Yu-Kai Chou, Founder of The Octalysis Group, shared his insights on how the principles of game design can be applied to non-game contexts to drive engagement, motivation, and desired behaviors.
  • The Role of XR in Healthcare: Amy Peck, Founder of EndeavorXR, delved into entrepreneurship and investment and provided a comprehensive look at the evolving landscape of XR startups and investment opportunities.
  • The Future of Immersive Learning: Alistair Hume, Co-founder at Axon Park, discussed the potential of XR and AI technologies in transforming education and training, sharing insights into how immersive learning experiences can enhance retention, engagement, and accessibility in education.

The conference provided an invaluable platform for attendees to gain knowledge from presentations and panel discussions, highlighting the latest trends and developments in the industry. It also offered a unique opportunity for professionals, academics, and students to network and collaborate, fostering an environment of innovation and growth.

In addition to the presentations and panel discussions, the conference also featured an XR showcase, where emerging startups and established companies showcased their latest innovations and products in the XR and metaverse realms. This provided an opportunity for participants to experience cutting-edge technology first-hand and gain a deeper understanding of the capabilities and potential of immersive technologies.

Audience at HarvardXR Conference

Credit: HTC

One of the key takeaways from the conference was the increasing importance of collaboration between industry, academia, and policymakers in ensuring the responsible and sustainable growth of the XR and metaverse sectors. Several speakers emphasized the need for interdisciplinary research, public-private partnerships, and the development of ethical frameworks to guide the advancement and adoption of these transformative technologies.

Axon Park will continue to participate and contribute to such events, reinforcing our commitment to excellence and leadership in the immersive learning space. As the industry evolves, Axon Park remains dedicated to harnessing the power of metaverse technologies to revolutionize education and training, creating a more accessible, engaging, and effective learning experience for people around the world.

Speakers at HarvardXR Conference, Alistair Hume and Axon Park

Credit: HarvardXR

Overall, the HarvardXR Conference was a resounding success, leaving participants inspired, informed, and excited about the future of immersive technologies. The event not only showcased the latest advancements and trends but also provided a glimpse into the potential impact these technologies could have on our lives in the coming years. As Axon Park and other industry pioneers continue to push the boundaries of XR and the metaverse, we can expect to see even more transformative applications and developments at next-year’s event. Excited to see you there!