The AUREA conference & awards give creativity and innovation a stage in front of a worldwide audience of VR and AR enthusiasts - in the setting of one of the world's leading theme parks and a pioneer in immersive tech and Location Based Entertainment (LBE) itself.
Besides showcasing the most exciting products and experiences, the conference also includes workshops and talks while leaving room for networking and enjoyment.
2 Days packed with breakthrough innovation
200 curated leaders in the XR and entertainment space
11 hours of live broadcasted content from the Europa-Park
AUREA 2021 Winner EXPERIENCE
Feelbelt GmbH is a media tech start-up from Potsdam Babelsberg and was founded in 2019. Feelbelt makes sound perceptible: all frequencies in the range from 1 to 20,000 Hz are converted into haptic feedback and transmitted to the body through pulse generators. In this way, a new dimension of perception is integrated into the entertainment experience: the sense of touch. Production takes place at local partners in Berlin and Brandenburg. For every Feelbelt sold, the company plants an oak tree.
AUREA 2021 Winner IMPACT
ARTHELPS is an initiative of creative people and artists that helps in a very special way, namely with art. For ARTHELPS creativity is the most important tool, the engine and the universal language. As a non-profit art initiative, ARTHELPS can not only reach people themselves, but also build bridges between different social classes.
Nine years of war in Syria has destroyed places of culture, economy and faith and left a whole society devastated. Considered lost, they are still alive in people’s memories. The idea: a virtual 360 ° restoration of people’s pre-war memories using Instagram photos.
There are rebuilt three damaged environments in Aleppo as VR views, created as a collective memory via photogrammetry and machine learning. It involved mining thousands of Instagram posts via geotag variations in English, Arabic, and French. A pipeline rescaled and re-sorted the dataset via deep learning and used it for photogrammetry.
AUREA 2021 Winner INTERACTION
Adventure Lab is building the platform for the future of live entertainment. We connect audiences with live hosted, interactive adventures that can be experienced from tablet, desktop, or VR. We are creating a new gig economy marketplace for performers - enabling them to market and operate magical adventures from anywhere in the world. Our development partners will create the experiences our hosts bring to life. Our digital platform is both the box office and the cloud based venue; a global 24/7 digital entertainment hub.
Adventure Lab was founded by creative innovation leaders, magic makers, and veterans of Pixar, Google, Facebook, and Oculus Story Studio.
AUREA 2021 Winner CREATIVE
BRCvr, a recognized Universe of the Burning Man Multiverse and home to a virtual version of Black Rock City, is inclusive of its iconic art, camps, and most importantly, its citizens. BRCvr magically captures the same spirit, culture and principles of the real-world event in an interactive VR-first expression that cultivates conversation, connection and community, with over 150 worlds visited by over 12,000 uniques in VR.
The Walt Disney Company
Futures Intelligence Group
Cathy Hackl is a leading futurist and tech/media executive specializing in the impact emerging technologies like AR, VR, and AI, are having on communications and business. She combines emerging technologies like AR, VR, & AI with strategic foresight to take scenario planning to the next level with Futures Intelligence.
In 2019 and 2018, Linkedin recognized her as one of the Top Technology Voices on the platform globally, its highest honor. Hackl has worked on enterprise strategy, innovation, communications and developer marketing strategy and business evangelism with brands like UPS, HTC VIVE, Mozilla, Sony Pictures, Magic Leap, and Adobe.
She has been shortlisted as Technology Evangelist of the Year 2020 by the Women in IT Awards and is working on her second book, The Augmented Workforce: How AI, AR, & 5G Will Impact Every Dollar You Make (coming fall 2020).
AUREA Jury Secretary & Moderator
Partner, iconomy & Managing Director, Internet Economy Foundation
Clark Parsons it a Partner at iconomy and Managing Director of the Internet Economy Foundation.
A native of Alabama in the USA, he began his career as a journalist in Nashville, Tennesse (Daily Variety, Cable Guide, The Tennessean, Nashville Banner, Nashville Scene). He was then Editor-in-chief of a city magazine (Nashville Life), regular guest on local radio (WRLT-FM) and also worked as a consultant for rapidly-growing Internet companies like CitySearch. He was awarded a Robert Bosch Fellowship in 1997 and moved to Germany, staying on to continue his career in consulting and media management.
As the first Project Manager of the Media sector for the Industrial Investment Council, he advised US and UK Internet and media companies on locating in Germany. In 2000 he helped establish a digital TV broadcaster as its Country Manager. After working with a California-based travel-industry startup team during the height of the dot.com bubble, he returned to Germany as a broadcast media consultant at KPMG/BearingPoint. He then worked as Country Manager for an international IT business development network, establishing Germany sales channels and partnerships for companies from Israel and the Nordics.
Startup fever struck again in 2005, when Clark and a co-founder launched Vortel GmbH, a VoIP telephony company that was sold in 2008 to Inter.net. He then led a private, global leadership school for the creative industries, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. As its Managing Director for more than 6 years, Clark helped build the school from young idea to thriving business, now well known among industry leaders from advertising, marketing, digital, entertainment, design and news media.
Having departed the Berlin School in 2015 to get back to his digital roots, Clark joined the team establishing the Internet Economy Foundation at its start in January 2016. He serves as Managing Director and is working to establish the IE.F as a noted and networked voice for the development of a strong Internet economy in Germany, Europe and worldwide. He lives in Berlin with his wife and two young digital natives.
Managing Director vTime
Clemens Wangerin is managing director at vTime - a leading AR and VR engagement company. Home to vTime XR - the most widely available social VR experience today with active users in over 190 countries, and now vTag – the first cross-world 3D avatar messaging app, vTime develops immersive communication experiences across new realities. Playing a pivotal role in UK game development since 1992, Clemens’ past roles include development director at the world-renowned Studio Liverpool and director of PlayStation Network.
Speaker & Moderator
Co-Founder & CEO, Spatial First
Emily Olman is CEO and Co-Founder of Spatial First, an AR cloud platform for real estate headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to this, Emily founded Hopscotch Interactive, a Virtual Reality company bringing new tech applications to the real estate industry. She also serves as Co-President of the Bay Area AR/VR Association in California where she advocates and evangelizes for VR/AR acceleration on a global scale. Emily started her career in the gaming industry at Gaming magazine before obtaining an MBA at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, moving to Germany on a Robert Bosch Fellowship, and helping to build the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, a global business leadership program for the creative industries.
Gabriele Romagnoli is a Senior Communications Advisor at the iconomy. He supports startups and entrepreneurs communication efforts with investors and clients. Gabriele has the keen ability to identify strategic areas of improvement that align with business’ product/service and their go-to market strategy. Thanks to his expertise in storytelling, affinity with the tech world and passion to support BIG ideas, Gabriele loves to see other entrepreneurs succeed in their ventures and is hosting a training session to support Aurea finalists communicating their pitches.
XR Insight Europe
Founder & Chief Intelligence Officer at XR Insight Europe | Community activist at XR Crowd
Andrey Lunev is a Founder & the Chief Intelligence Officer at XR Insight Europe, and a longtime community activist in XR Crowd. He has an extensive entrepreneurial background, demonstrated research of VC practices, and a long engagement with XR tech that equips him with profound analytical insights into opportunities for investors and startups.
Professor Friedbert Pflueger is the Chairman of the Internet Economy Foundation, an independent think tank dedicated to promoting a flourishing digital economy in Europe and Germany. A former member of the German Parliament, he served as a State Secretary in the German Ministry of Defense and now operates Pflueger International, a consultancy focused on the digital, health and energy sectors. He also serves as Director of the European Center for Energy and Resource Security at King’s College in London.
Experience Strategist, The Collaboratorium
Kathleen Cohen is an Experience Strategist focusing on building innovative and engaging, even hyper reality visitor experiences utilizing immersive & disruptive tech platforms, storytelling, AI, data, and creative thinking. After a longstanding multi-platform career envisioning & building video games, web content, animations, mobile and wearable products for DreamWorks Interactive, IBM Innovation and Disney Worldwide Parks and Resorts, Cohen formed The Collaboratorium consultancy. The Collaboratorium is now an XR consortium focusing on engaging experiences for themed attractions, location based entertainment, family entertainment centers and the public streetscape. Think of the Collaboratorium as both interpreters and general contractors of where the physical meets the virtual world by integrating a new reality, while sitting at the cross section of imagination, product development and visitor experience.
Vice President Sales, Strategic Alliances & Partnerships EMEA, BrandMaker / Co-Founder SOMMER+SOMMER, Co-Founder XQ Digital
Sommer studied Communication Design in Florence, Italy. He is Co-Founder of the creative agency SOMMER+SOMMER, Co-Founder of XQ Digital, a digital transformation consultancy and Vice President of Sales, Strategic Alliances & Partnerships at BrandMaker. Alongside his role at BrandMaker, he is an Advisory Board Member of „playthehype”, an agency focused on GenZ Communications. Leonard has also been an associate partner, as well as founder of the PR & event agency Benefit Identity and an associate partner and advisor with the media company Trans-Marketing (today Wall AG).
Host & ENTERTAINMENT Jury Member
CEO, Mack NeXT
Michael Mack graduated in International Business Management and completed his tri-national studies in the cities of Basel, Loerrach and Colmar. He has been a member of the executive board of Mack Rides GmbH & Co KG since 2005. He has further been responsible for Operations at the park, the design department Mack Solutions, Construction Management, IT, and strategic business development at Europa-Park as an authorised representative since 2007, and as Managing Director since 2016. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the German association of Amusement Parks (VDFU) on February 13th 2008, followed by his induction into the European board of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAPAA) in January 2010. In 2015 Michael Mack became an associate of VR Coaster, a start-up integrating virtual worlds into the business segments of the family business. He was also awarded the 2016 CampdenFB award for “Top Next Generation Entrepreneur”. In 2018, Michael Mack was appointed Honorary Consul of France.
Ex-Jury Member & AUREA 2018 Winner
Frédéric Lecompte has a unique perspective of the VR market both in entertainment and brand content. He led the business side of BackLight for 12 years, while closely monitoring the market in order to always be a step ahead of it. His strategic thinking and grasp of this brand-new way of entertainment has put him in an unprecedented position: at the top of the most awarded French studio in the history of virtual reality.
Animationsinstitut Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Head of Research & Development Animationsinstitut
Volker Helzle is in charge of Research and Development at Animationsinstitut of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. After graduating from HDM Stuttgart Media University (Dipl. Ing. AV-Medien) in 2000 he moved to California and worked for three years at Eyematic Interfaces (later acquired by Google). Volker quickly advanced to team-lead in charge of the Los Angeles based Content Development Group where his team pioneered facial performance capture substantially contributing to the engineering and development of the Eyematic Facestation.
In 2003 he joined Filmakademie to setup a research and development department at Animationsinstitut. The primary focus of his first years at Filmakademie was the development of facial animation tools. This led to one of the first plausible technology tests, realizing a virtual actor in an exemplary VFX production in 2007. During the past 18 years he raised funding for a substantial amount of regional and European Union funded projects in the scope of Animation, VFX, Virtual Production and Immersive Media. The most recent european project SAUCE includes a consortium of 9 partners. SAUCE will focus on smart reuse and transformation of assets, machine learning for asset retrieval and lightfield technology. The results of this projects have a massive impact on establishing new production techniques across all departments of Filmakademie. The latest regional project is the KI-Lab Animation& VFX. It is dedicated to accelerate media productions by the latest trends in Artifical Intelligence.
In 2013 Volker Helzle received the honorary professorship of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. In addition to the technical research Volker is the designated senior lecturer for the postgraduate Technical Director (TD) course at Filmakademie. TDs tackle the technological challenges of Animation, VFX and Transmedia productions at Filmakademie. The close relation to the research group allows students to engage in multidisciplinary projects.
As a program consultant he contributes to the organization of the annual FMX conference.
Being a C-64 kid of the 80ties, Volker's life was strongly influenced by video games and early computer graphics. To this day he is a passionate gamer but also finds interest in completely analogical activities like mountain hiking, gardening or yoga. As of January 2019 an improved version of Volker is available that keeps him busy day and night.
The second AUREA Award was outstanding, extraordinary, and fabulous. Following its successful premiere last year, and building on its steadily growing community, the event has become a global meeting place for the Augmented & Virtual Reality sector.