Participants will be able to view an experts’ panel, mingle and network with other participants, as well as go into interactive VR rooms. In those rooms, they’ll be able to engage with new supply chain technologies through gamified experiences.
Lethbridge College VXR instructor Tyler Heaton referred to the conference as a “double-dip of innovation”.
“Those taking part in this conference are on the cutting edge of innovations that will improve supply chain technology for a wide variety of industries,” he said in a release from the college.
“Meanwhile, we’ve created a custom virtual environment that not only brings people together from across Canada, or wherever they’re located, but allows them a ‘hands-on’ interactive experience that replaces planned field trips and facility tours.”
In the 2019-2020 year, two students began designing the space as part of their program curriculum.
Lethbridge College noted that one of the students, Connor Macleod, has remained involved in the project to see it through to fruition and has worked with Heaton to make it fully functional for the conference.
“Working on this project has underscored the importance of adapting to our new digital normal,” the 2020 graduate of the VR/AR program stated.
“I am excited to showcase the potential of new immersive technologies that are pushing the boundaries of how we communicate and gather. Attendees from anywhere in the world can join the conference and tour a warehouse with a group of their peers all while sitting comfortably in their office at home.”
He said this event may be the first of its kind in virtual reality and hopes it won’t be the last.
The conference will be viewable on a desktop but using a VR headset will enhance the experience to essentially transport participants to a virtual conference hall, complete with breakout rooms where they can see the automated technologies in-person.
The event will focus on the “new normal” created by the pandemic. There will be discussions on how businesses have been challenged and evolved their tactics into longer-term strategies to continue meeting surges in product demand, amid the recovery from COVID-19 and into the future.
The experts’ panel will feature Michele Evans, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Alberta government’s Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation; Chris Shaver, the senior director of Vertical Market Activation at Dematic; and Rindi Bristol, senior director at Whole Leaf.
The conference is a ticketed event.