VR’s true believers at SVVR #27

The day after Unity’s highly-anticipated inaugural Vision Summit was over, a sold-out crowd of 200 developers, filmmakers, entrepreneurs and VR enthusiasts convened at Google for SVVR’s 27th meetup. While I regretted missing Vision Summit (where attendees had an Oprah moment when they were told they’d be getting a free Vive) I’m not entirely missing out.

In San Francisco and Silicon Valley there’s a VR meetup just about every night of the week where you can build virtual worlds or explore Mars using the latest disruptive tech since motion pictures, television, the Apple II or mobile devices depending on who you ask. If you want to purchase a Vive, HTC and Valve’s hype-worthy answer to Oculus Rift and Sony’s PlaystationVR,  consumer pre-orders start February 29th.

Organized by  Karl Krantz, Bruce Wooden, John Oakes, and Nana Tsui, SVVR is the largest VR Meetup group in the world. Their 1st gathering was in the spring of 2013. As of this writing SVVR has 3,410 members. They’re followed by NYVR (2,570 avatars) SF’s UploadVR (2,162 enthusiasts) BosVR (2,132 avatars) VRLA (2,061 dreamers) and SF Virtual Reality (1,1920 pioneers.)

In 2014 the SVVR team produced the 1st Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Conference and Expo, the world’s first professional conference dedicated to consumer virtual reality. SVVR 2016 will be at the San Jose Convention Center April 27th-29th. (Full disclosure: I’ve volunteered at SVVR meet ups.)

The buzz around VR is intoxicating. Seeing – or experiencing rather,  is believing.  While hefty price points for premium VR headsets and AR devices (Oculus, Vive, PlaystationVR, Microsoft HoloLens, Magic Leap and now Meta 2) will still be a roadblock for mass consumption over the next few years, Andrey Doronichev, a Group Product Manager at Google VR and one of the founding members of the original Cardboard told the crowd that so far, over 5 million cardboard viewers have shipped and over 350,000 hours of  YouTube360 videos have been viewed.

Asked to comment on reports Google is developing its own premium mobile headset Doronichev reiterated what he heard at Vision Summit: it’s too soon to predict the future, but speculating about it is the media’s job.

If you want to try VR in the East Bay, Quirkeley has you covered with our 2nd OffPlanetVR mixer Thursday February 25th from 6-9pm.

Inspired by the Bay Area VR community (and a line from the movie Oblivion) I started OffPlanet VR to explore, create and promote positive VR experiences.

SVVR will be joining OffPlanet VR 2 with their Vive to give attendees a taste of room-scale VR, along with demos from VR pioneers including Tony Parisi of Wevr, who will show their official selections from Sundance, Theresa Duringer Co-Founder and Designer, Temple Gates Games, Nick Ochoa of Kaleidoscope VR, and a special guest chat from Allen Yang, UC Berkeley researcher, Microsoft HoloLens Academic Research Grant Recipient – and lots more! Purchase tickets on Eventbrite. Follow on Twitter @OffPlanetVR.

While the world waits for virtual and augmented reality to hit mainstream, its true believers are building the community and industry to bring it you – in real life.


Follow @OffPlanet #OffPlanetVR





13 Berkeley Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Vanilla ice cream bombes, Ici Ice Cream. Photo: Siciliana Trevino

This week I fluttered around Berkeley snapping Instagrams of sweet local gifts and tagged many of them with the hashtag #HeartShapedBerkeley. From Whiskey tastings to tea sets, theres something fun to inspire everyone’s inner Cupid or turn Valentine’s Day into a second Halloween, if that’s your thing. Happy Valentine’s Day!

To make the heart shapes I used the free app Insta Shapes.


Chez Panisse Café Cookbook

Moe’s Books 2476 Telegraph Avenue (510) 849-2087

Owl Tea Set

Lhasa Karnak Herb Company 2482 Telegraph Avenue & 1942 Shattuck Avenue

Bear, Fox & Tiger Heads

Berkeley Hat Company 2510 Telegraph Avenue (510) 549-2955 or (510)962-4428

The Smiths on Vinyl

Amoeba Music 2455 Telegraph Avenue (510) 549-1125

Shotgun Players Theater Tickets

Shotgun Players 1901 Ashby Avenue (510) 841-6500

#love #berkeley #theater @shotgunplayers #bestofberkeley #instaberkeley #shotgunplayers #ashby

A photo posted by Siciliana Trevino (@quirkeley) on

Whiskey Flight Card

Longbranch 2512 San Pablo Avenue (510) 984-0518

Games and Puzzles

Games of Berkeley 2151 Shattuck Avenue (510) 540-7822

BAMPFA Membership

BAMPFA 2155 Center Street (510) 642-0808 

AIP and Vegan Treats

Mission Heirloom 2585 Vine Street (510)900-1307

Fall in love with @missionheirloom #berkeley #berkeleyrestaurants #gourmetghetto #vegan #avocadotart #missionheirloom

A photo posted by Siciliana Trevino (@quirkeley) on

Raspberry & Vanilla Marshmallows

Ici Ice Cream 2948 College Avenue  (510) 665-6054

#berkeley #sweets for your #valentines #iciicecream #icimarshmallows #marshmallows #happyvalentinesday #bemine

A photo posted by Siciliana Trevino (@quirkeley) on

Citrus Mango Hand-Poured Soy Candles

Old Yak Bazaar 2048 College Avenue

Emoji Socks  

Sweet Dreams 2921 College Avenue (510) 548-8697

Step up your #valentinesday #sockgame @sweetdreamstoys in #theelmwood #berkeley #heartshapedberkeley #emojisocks #socks

A photo posted by Siciliana Trevino (@quirkeley) on

Lawrence Hall of Science at Sunset

Lawrence Hall of Science One Centennial Drive 

#heartshapedberkeley #berkeley

A photo posted by Siciliana Trevino (@quirkeley) on