This week marks the tenth year for the popular 2018 Sydney Vivid Festival which sees major landmarks, such as the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The University of Sydney and other landmarks illuminated with light projections.

Houssam Bizri has a number of public lectures scheduled under the banner “ Vivid Ideas” in collaboration with The University of Newcastle Sydney campus.

One of the featured vivid lectures titled “The Vivid World of VR” was presented on  Friday night 25 May with near full capacity of attendees from the general public.

The session focused on the history of virtual reality technology taking participants on a journey with plenty of amazing video examples explaining the differences between Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and how they are being currently deployed in industries.

VR, Why Now?

Houssam explained that initially, the VR technology was constricted to the gaming industry, which has, however, changed with major tech and mobile giants such as Samsung and Apple releasing new hardware to mainstream with devices that are already VR ready.

He stressed that VR/AR/ MR in few years will soon be embedded in our everyday lives while technology hardware costs become cheaper and people become more adaptable to using it.

While there will always be sceptics by questioning the effectiveness of using such new mediums, Houssam showcased that Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook, in one of his lengthy interviews talked about why he invested $2 billion to acquire Oculus the VR company back in 2015.

All major large corporations such as Google, Apple, Facebook are investing big in VR technology which is shaping future trends.

Houssam spent the last two decades in the technology spaces and he illustrated to the audience that in the early nineties we moved from using mainframe computing to desktop PC, then the Internet was born which took us to mobile and social computing.

Within every decade there will be major shifts in technology that reshapes and enhances our environments and the way we live, now, VR/AR/MX is the new wave.

VR in Industry

“The future of e-Commerce will be v-Commerce”

In his public lecture, Houssam demonstrated how VR has already been utilized in many industries such as education, medicine, engineering, defense, aviation, business, communication, construction, design, entertainment, gaming, manufacturing, marketing, sports, travel, while retail shopping and the fashion industry are taking to the technology with speedy open arms.

In late 2016, eBay launched what was known as the first virtual reality shopping center. The e-Commerce giant teamed up with Myer (Australia’s largest shopping chain) to offer immersive and virtual shopping experience.

By using an iOS or Android app along with a Google cardboard headset users can shop virtually using the app promising a better shopping experience than the normal online shopping.

Another example discussed was of IKEA and Apple who teamed up in 2017 to create “the next big thing in retail,” by collaborating on the development of an app that puts IKEA furniture right in your home.

Last year, hundreds of augmented reality enthusiasts were who played Pokémon Go on their mobile phones, ended up near the IKEA store in Rhodes by following the characters across the mobile device GPS to locate, capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, which appear as if they are in the player’s real-world location.

Just imagine how future virtual marketing efforts along with gamification and AR could lure shoppers to a specific shopping center or to an area to increase traffic.

Where to next!

Houssam will be conducting one more public lecture for 2018 on VR and plans to run the same lecture for Startup Ummah after Ramadan. Want to know more? Contact Houssam directly or check the Startup Ummah website for more details: