Our next speaker for our upcoming GamesBeat event is John Underkoffler, the CEO of Oblong Industries and science advisor for the landmark sci-fi film Minority Report.

Underkoffler will talk about science fiction as a prototyping medium for real-world tech, games as the vanguard of user interface, the value of working at visual scale, and advanced user interfaces as “empathy machines.” He is one of a number of speakers at our GamesBeat Summit 2017: How games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic.

In 2006, Underkoffler started Oblong Industries to take the ideas from Minority Report and build the next generation of computing interfaces. In 2012, the company began selling commercial versions of that interface, the Mezzanine platform for immersive visual collaboration. Much of the work was based on a foundation of research at the MIT Media Lab, where Underkoffler worked for many years. Besides Minority Report, he was also the science advisor on films including The Hulk and Iron Man.

John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong, envisioned the gesture controls in Minority Report.

Above: John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong, envisioned the gesture controls in Minority Report.

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

GamesBeat Summit 2017 will take place on May 1 and May 2, 2017, at the historic Claremont resort hotel in Berkeley, Calif., just a short distance from San Francisco. You can secure your seat here. Register today and receive 50 percent off current ticket prices. This offer is only available until February 21. That is a savings of $1,000.

Underkoffler joins a cast of speakers who are among the who’s who of games, as well as the related industries that are inspiring gamemakers. Other speakers include Gary Whitta, the screenwriter for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Richard Marks of Sony PlayStation; Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games; Owen Mahoney, the CEO of Nexon; and Jamil Moledina of Google Play.

Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon.

Above: Owen Mahoney, CEO of Nexon.

Image Credit: Nexon

Inspiring moments lead to disrupting the worlds of gaming, tech, and entertainment. Who hasn’t been influenced by great novels like Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, which gave us virtual worlds, or Tom Cruise’s data gloves and gesture-controlled computer in Minority Report? Now those things have become real, and we want to see what’s coming next.

Our theme is about what inspires game developers, executives, and investors to be creative. Part of the event will focus on the inspiration cycle that is accelerating as the walls between science fiction, video games, and real-world technology come down. We don’t think there’s another conference that focuses on the seams between these industries.

This event will focus on inspiration and creativity. So much of what used to be science fiction is coming true, and it is inspiring even more accelerated visions of the future in games and other entertainment. We hope to inspire you by taking you to the moments that led to great ideas across multiple industries. You’ll leave refreshed and ready to change the worlds of gaming, technology, and more.

We think this conference will offer a rare chance for cross-pollination and networking between high-level people in different industries, and we believe that insights in one place can lead to inspirations in another.

This conference is for high-end gaming executives, startup CEOs, developers, investors, publishers, marketers, tech experts, entertainment industry professionals, sci-fi experts, AR and VR executives, and other professionals. I should also point out that this is where we try to create an actual GamesBeat community with our supporters, readers, and attendees. We gather the right people in the room and encourage everyone to get to know each other. Join us.

If you’re interested in sponsoring, message andie.rhyins@venturebeat.com. Thanks to our initial sponsor Samsung.

Breakout sessions

Intersection of sci-fi, games, and tech
Monetization: How to acquire and retain your user base
Deals: Follow the money
Esports and community
Emerging markets for games
Platforms: Where to place your bets? VR, AR, and more
Creativity and diversity

Advisory board

  • Sam Barlow, game developer of Her Story and creative director at Interlude
  • Michael Chang, senior vice president at NCSoft
  • Daniel Cho, chairman at Innospark
  • Jay Eum, managing director, Translink Capital
  • Clinton Foy, chairman of the Immortals and managing director at Crosscut Ventures
  • Megan Gaiser, co-CEO at Spiral Media
  • Lee Jones, global business lead Google Ads
  • Perrin Kaplan, principal at Zebra Partners
  • Roy Liu, general manager at Linekong USA
  • Wanda Meloni, executive director of the Open Gaming Alliance
  • Jamil Moledina, game strategic lead at Google Play
  • Adam Orth, founder at Three One Zero
  • Mihai Pohontu, vice president of emerging technologies at Samsung
  • Mike Sepso, cofounder of MLG and senior vice president at Activision Blizzard
  • Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors
  • Margaret Wallace, CEO of Playmatics
  • Marco DeMiroz, cofounder, The Venture Reality Fund
  • Phil Sanderson, managing director at IDG Ventures

I’ve been writing about our theme for a while. I’ve written about the accelerating cycle of inspiration between tech, games, and science fiction. I interviewed Shane Wall, HP’s chief technology officer, about the connection between sci-fi and tech. The Westworld TV show also explored the seams between artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and video games.