Keynotes

This year ACM IMX will host amazing and inspiring keynote speakers, from academic and industry thought-leaders from across the globe.

Keynote: Designing and Scaling IMX Programs for Community-Level Interventions

Emerging IMX technologies, such as virtual and mixed reality, have become dramatically more affordable and accessible in recent years.  Consumers can purchase a VR headset for a reasonable price at local retail stores and experience virtual worlds in a matter of minutes. Yet, integrating IMX technologies into everyday use at a community level remains a challenge, with many users questioning the utility of IMX technologies.  In this keynote, I will present recent projects that delivered IMX technologies into the hands of hundreds of families and organizations in local communities to help them make healthier and better informed choices; how these projects were designed to embed IMX into their daily routines; and how we overcame the constraints of places and spaces.  Critical next steps toward the ubiquitous use of emerging technologies will be discussed.

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn (Ph.D., Stanford University) is an Associate Professor at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at University of Georgia. She is the founding director of the Games and Virtual Environments Lab (https://www.ugavr.com), and the Deputy Director of the Center for Children’s Health Assessment, Research Translation, and Combating Environmental Racism (CHARTER). Her main program of research investigates how interactive and immersive digital media such as virtual and augmented reality transform traditional rules of communication and social interactions, looking at how virtual experiences shape the way that people think, feel, and behave in the physical world. Her work is supported by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States and is published in numerous top-tier outlets in the fields of communication, health, and engineering. 

Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn

University of Georgia, USA

Keynote: Teleporting remote experts with Distributed Reality

Álvaro Villegas

NOKIA, Spain

Virtual and mixed reality applications are popping up everywhere. Most of them focus on bringing people to a virtual space to communicate, collaborate or just have fun, what eliminates from the experience the real environment surrounding the participants. We present here our Distributed Reality technology, which also belongs to the category of immersive media (XR), and it is also used for communication and collaboration. In our case, however, there is a strong focus on the real environment around the peers, which is captured in real time and blended into a “Real Reality” experience for all of them. We will present a particular use case of this concept in the industrial area, in which a remote expert is first trained in a realistic (not virtual) immersive scenario and then he/she is virtually “teleported” to the real scenario where the assistance is required.

Alvaro Villegas leads the Distributed Reality Solutions team in Bell Labs, a research center specialized in the application of immersive media (VR, AR, XR) to human communications. He received a six-year telecommunications engineering degree at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), he completed an MBA Core Program at ESCP Europe Business School and he is Distinguished Member of Technical Staff by Bell Labs. He has dedicated his nearly 30 years of professional life to innovate in digital video in different companies: Telefónica, ONO, Motorola, Nagravision, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia, where he has filed more than 40 patents. He is currently the Head of Bell Labs in Nokia Spain, with a strong focus on human applications of XR, AI/ML and 5G/6G technologies. More information about him can be found in his webpage http://alvaro-villegas.com/.