#AWECORE — A Mobile Matrix Experience. Virtual conferencing with Spatial Networks

hosted by Andy Fidel, Alina Kadlubsky & VR/AR community
[see the full
MATRIXCORE experience]

In this social experiment, we tested the limits of spatial networks, hosting a 3-day virtual conference extension across the multiverse. Want to start off by saying, thank you! This was a wonderful experience 🙏 We got a chance to connect with the spatial community from across the world and meet with enthusiasts experiencing social VR/AR for the first time. Big thank you to the team, speakers and community who made this happen!

credit: Daniel Dyboski-Bryant of Educators In VR at #AWECORE, May 29-May 31, 2019

#AWECORE came out of a need to make local conversations, global discussions. Conferences play an essential role in building industry culture. Events gather likeminded individuals from across the world, to connect, learn, discuss, share ideas, and create new ideas!

These shared experiences set a foundation for strong relationships. So how do we make global networks more accessible? How do we use existing technologies to create better remote experiences? All the while maintaining the core value of conferencing — social networking. It’s not just about content distribution; we can do that just fine using 2D platforms, like YouTube and Twitch. For digital conferences to succeed, we need to build social spaces.

It was time to put social VR to the test.
Step up from last year’s experiences — AWE 2018

credit: Donna McTaggart at #AWECORE in Mozilla Hubs, May 30 2019 | Present & Future of Social VR Panel hosted by Malia Probst, VRScout ft. Jessica Outlaw of The Extended Mind, Mat Chacon of rumii by Doghead Simulations, Jazmin Cano of High Fidelity & Katie Kelly of AltspaceVR by Microsoft

Spatial networks, the future of social media

The act of connecting with other people and communities in digital spaces is called social networking. Spatial Networks refers to the engagement part of social media and its spatial environments. With VR and AR technology, you are spatially immersed in a shared experience. You embody an avatar of your choosing and are able to engage with others in real-time.

Social media shares information. Spatial networks are about shared experiences. In these moments, we create memories; and that creates community. — Andy Fidel, co-founder of MATRIXCORE

This new medium surpasses social media’s ability to communicate. What is fundamentally social here? It’s you, not your media. You don’t interact with digital media feeds in virtual spaces, but you’re engaging with real people. Spatial networks unlocks a whole new perspective on connected learning and real-world engagement. 📄 read Social VR/AR for education

#AWECORE mash-up

Make local conversations, global discussions

Technology on its own doesn’t make a digital experience. Our goal at #AWECORE was to create accessible social spaces across the multiverse. How do we connect the physical and remote community at AWE? In this experience, we didn’t necessarily want to re-create the entire conference online, but focus on re-creating that networking experience.

Types of experiences:

  • #GetSocial in VR | number #1! A good portion of the conference experience was dedicated to social events. Open air, coffee, discovery, music, dancing, debates, public spaces, portals ✨ it’s important to give the network enough social time for participants to enjoy the experience. Fly to the moon 🌕 ride on the back of a whale 🐋 make sure to visit the wonders of VR. Give your audience enough time to enjoy the experience to the fullest with all their senses.
  • Group activities | Global laser quest, open mic night, metaverse concert, talk show, comedy show, pool party, world discovery, creator Q&As, charades, coffee lounge, and open digital spaces.

Big shout-out to our power social hosts — XR Pioneer team & Paola Paulino, NeosVR team, Jessie Damiani (#TechTock), Sasha LeBaron, The Rooftop VR, LGBTQ+ & Friends, SideQuestVR, The Sabby Life, Comedy House Sundays, Open Mic Night, Spatiate (Magic Leap), Cas and Chary VR, Navah Berg, Project8, and more.

  • Live AWE keynotes | using mobile technology and social apps like Facebook, Periscope, and YouTube LIVE, we were able to livestream some conference keynotes, followed by a group mingle in social VR.
  • Live Panels | we brought in physical speakers to join virtual panels in Mozilla Hubs, AltspaceVR (Microsoft), and rumii by Doghead Simulations. Big shout-out to Sarah Hill of HealiumXR & StoryUp Studios 🙏 Daniel Dyboski-Bryant of Educators in VR ✨ and Chaitanya Shah of Emblematic Group 👋 surprised by Paige Dansinger, founder of BetterWorldMuse.
  • Q&A with Conference Speakers | some events are best in 2D and we got great technology to support it. Instead of livestreaming physical talks in VR, stream the video on a 2D platform and invite people back in VR for questions. This gives people a chance to tune-out and podcast the experience. With social VR’s cross platform functionality, this works well on mobile or desktop.
  • Masterclasses | look at the value of smaller network groups. It’s not always about getting a massive crowd in the same space; some events (especially hands-on/workshops) do best with a maximum of 20–25 people in the space. There’s a time for large and small events.
credit: Dr. Sana Farid at #AWECORE in rumii by Doghead Simulations, May 31, 2019
  • Virtual World Exploration | showcase the infinite potential of immersive reality and accessible tools. Let’s not forget our first moments! What got us into the medium. VR/AR is a magical moment ✨ Explore stunning environments by the community. Note: you don’t need to be a developer to create your own personalized 3D digital space.
  • Human XR Library | VR/AR consultants and developers from around the world join space to discuss XR business, entrepreneurshuip and more.
  • Coffee & Borealis | create open social spaces in virtual reality for spontaneous network connection. Just like in reality, we need coffee breaks!
  • LGBTQ+ & Friends Global Pool Party | Obviously, we had to mirror AWE’s pool party. It was a bit cold outside! Didn’t see anyone jump into the water 💦 but everyone took a dip in virtual reality. Big thank you to the LGBTQ+ & Friends for hosting us in their social space!
credit: Navah Berg hosts ‘Go Live at AWE!’ with featured guests, Paige Dansinger, Iva Leon, and Andy Fidel
  • Go Live at AWE | Navah Berg powered this experience! Conference attendees and speakers joined Navah in VR for a spontaneous chat using Facebook’s mobile app extension.
  • Live Entertainment in VR | special feature of The Rooftop VR talk show in immersive reality with special guests from the AltspaceVR community.
  • Live VR Art on Mobile | feat. The Sabby Life, livestreaming VR art on Twitch from inside Tilt Brush and NeosVR. VR Artist interacts live with viewers from her virtual reality art space. Experience available on mobile!
  • On-site AR experience at AWE | 4th Wall App is a free augmented reality (AR) public art platform, exploring resistance and inclusive creative expression. We featured two art installations at the physical conference: Coordinates and Dimensional Drawings by Nancy Baker Cahill.
  • 5à7 Mingle at AWE with Spatiate (Magic Leap) | this was the absolute cherry on top! Moments after our biggest event (The Future of Social XR Panel), the physical space was filled with a social mix & mingle.
credit: The Sabby Life, VR Artist

#AWECORE Testimonials

Total of 31 events and 43 speakers came together to support this experience. Major thanks to AltspaceVR, Mozilla Hubs, rumii by Doghead Simulations, VRChat, Facebook Spaces, High Fidelity, NeosVR, YouTube, The Expanse VR, Twitch, and Rec Room.

✨ see the MATRIXCORE website

“Andy Fidel and Alina Kadlubsky organized AWECORE, like a conference within a conference held in VR, including virtual panels and presentations, even 3D charades and global laser tag. The agenda was an incredible feat and successful experiment in putting on a virtual event and the potential role of VR at AWE for enabling attendees to tune in from all over the world.”
Augmented World Expo (USA 2019)

“Not only could attendees join using virtual reality headsets, desktops or mobile devices but there was also a mixture of virtual reality platform hosts helping out too. This is the first time that I have attended an event in VR that spread itself out across the industry.”
Suzanne Showcasing VR, Founder Pivotal Reality consultancy

“The #awecore panel that I was on tonight was on the present and future of social VR. Futurist @monikabielskyte gave an outstanding talk on protopias and new ways to envision the future that impacted my thinking.”
Jessica Outlaw, Culture, Behavior, and VR consultant

“I’m super stoked for this. Today is a great day for VR. At 11am (MDT) I get to moderate a panel in rumiiVR about XR Education as part of #AWECORE and at 2pm (MDT) we get to hear from @blakejharrisNYC on his book, History of the Future. I am getting my VR geek on today :)”
Mike McCready, VR/AR Instructor at Leth College and the President’s Applied Research Chair in VR/AR | President of VRARA Alberta

“I am super thrilled to be part of #AWECORE this year. I hope you join myself along with other VR AR experts from all over the globe in AltspaceVR and rumiiVR for this awesome event as #AWE2019 goes virtual.”
Bobby Carlton, Director of Immersive Learning at Ready Learner One and writer at VRScout

“Just want to pause for a moment and give amazing cred to Andy Fidel for the incredible work she and her tiny team have done on the #AWECORE accompaniment to #awe2019 event. Great speakers, fascinating topics, and brilliant diversity. Thank you for all your hard work!”
Lorelle VanFossen, co-founder of Educators In VR

“Imagine what we can learn together in Virtual Reality! XR Pioneer team had the opp of hosting 2 social VR events in RecRecom for #AWE2019 ‘s #AWECORE — the biggest XR conference in VR w/ Andy Fidel & team on social XR platforms seen below”
Paola Paulino, CINO at XR Pioneer, media bawse at VRARA Shenzhen

“Thank you Andy Fidel for organising the amazing #AWECORE AT #AWE2019 this year. Honored and to be part of it and very excited to be presenting the Borderless Classroom by Educators in VR tomorrow on AltspaceVR #ARVRinEDU
Daniel Dyboski-Bryant, co-founder of Educators In VR

“I’m super psyched to be able to participate to this experience for #AWECORE. I get to connect with VR leaders all around and represent the european XR community. Thank you to the ever so passionate Andy Fidel for this. (Also, I see you Soraya Jaber!!!)”
Marion Scordia, event Coordinator at Le Pavillon XR

“Thank you all for joining in the casual VR chat! We have a great community. Thanks Andy Fidel & for helping us host the #AWECORE core in AltspaceVR!” — Cas and Chary, VR YouTubers

“We second this! Great job and many thanks to Andy Fidel and the #AWECORE team for helping promote the value of social VR and making some very great conversations happen in VR! #AWE2019
Mat Chacon, CEO of Doghead Simulations

Thank you to all speakers, panelists, and pariticipants who joined #AWECORE!

Brought to you by MATRIXCORE | Andy Fidel and Alina Kadlubsky



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store