Letter from the Chair June

June already?  This month we preview the upcoming UDEN #15 meeting at which you can see work in progress on AR and VR projects locally, plus networking.  Plus UDEN's future plans, an update on our social media, membership and donations as well as highlights of this month's upcoming events.


213 days - that's how long until 2018! Whoa! We're almost halfway through this year already? It's June!  Where did the time go? These are the thoughts that go through my head each time a new month begins; it's a benchmark for the progress I'm making on my projects as well as for the other things I told myself I would do this year.  

It's the same for UDEN: a chance to check the progress we are making as a community.  This was the year we chose to focus on augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) with the hope that we might encourage our community to come together, collaborate and become expert in this field, which in turn would lead to the commercial success and economic growth we long for in Utah.  

As part of this, a reminder that your next opportunity to #GetInvolved will be at UDEN 15 on Wednesday June 7th (next week!). We're bringing together some of the leading VR and AR developers in Utah to show you what they are doing. You'll be able to see the many different innovative ways that our community is combining creativity and technology to create truly innovative virtual and augmented reality experiences. PLUS you can get to try them yourself, hands-on, many of them before they are released! UDEN 15 will be a great opportunity if you:

• Have never tried VR or AR but would like to
• Want to see and understand more about the different types of VR and AR equipment
• Are interested in a VR/AR project and would like to find a collaborator
• Are already developing for VR/AR and would like to see what other folks are doing
• Want to network with the top creative and technical minds in the State
• Would you like everything above for FREE 
• Would like to get fed while you network the evening away!

Go to our event page at the website to see who will be showing their projects and RSVP to let us know you're attending! Click here: www.utahden.org/uden_15

To help you embrace the technology, we'll be diving even deeper into AR/VR at our meetings later in the year, explaining how AR/VR projects are designed and developed, the tools and the technologies used, as well as the opportunity in the market for creators of content - like us!

If you're also noticing the year passing by and still want to do something then do it now. Time is ticking away, other people are already embracing this opportunity and pretty soon, 2017 will be history.  #GetInvolved.  You won't be alone - UDEN will be here for you.

The Future 

UDEN has some ambitious plans for the remainder of this year. In addition to the above, we hope to partner with Utah Valley University for their new VR class as a means of developing deeper expertise within the community. We also have ambitions to start and manage a two-year digital apprenticeship program as a means to enhance career pathing and create start-up content studios. More on that in coming months.


For those that follow us on social media, you'll know that we made some changes this week: we closed our Facebook GROUP and will be communicating instead on our Facebook PAGE. In the coming weeks if you think we have suddenly gone quiet on Facebook, chances are you're following the group, so please LIKE and FOLLOW the Facebook page instead to keep in touch with us - here: https://www.facebook.com/UtahDEN


If you haven't yet JOINED UDEN, please take this opportunity to do so. We're really getting traction now and it is helpful to be able to show the support we have. You're a member if you have your BIO listed on the website membership pages. If you joined the (old) Facebook group, you won't have a UDEN bio and are not a UDEN member. Please #GetInvolved!


As you know, UDEN is a non-profit run by industry volunteers. We try to make membership and all of UDEN events FREE for our members, which we can only do thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. We will soon be accepting donations to help us scale the work we're doing and help us keep the membership open and free. More on that soon!

Upcoming Events


As above. Come see and try-out a variety of different applications demonstrated on different VR and AR setups, including Microsoft's Hololens, Google Cardboard, Vive HTC, Samsung GearVR and Oculus Rift.  RSVP now for your free ticket and see how VR is already being applied in film, games, education and commerce. UDEN 15 is sponsored by ACCESS SALT LAKE and The UTAH FILM COMMISSION - our thanks to them for making this event possible!

UDEN 15 starts 6pm, at Access Salt Lake. You can RSVP here: http://utahden.org/uden_15


UGA's second meetup is tomorrow! Join us at Kafeneio Coffeehouse at 2pm. This time, we have the private West Wing all to ourselves! Feel free to bring whatever noise makin' stuff you've got! At the very least, I'll be bringing my musical floppy drive.
More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/260074581133962/

TOMORROW June 3rd - DISTANT WORLDS: Music from Final Fantasy

This international concert phenomenon features Nobuo Uematsu’s stirring music from one of the most popular video game series of all time, FINAL FANTASY! Conducted by Grammy Award®-winner Arnie Roth, the 94-musician Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus plays alongside breathtaking HD video direct from SQUARE ENIX. This show is a multimedia feast for the eyes and ears! Concert includes the performance of FINAL FANTASY XV: Apocalypsis Noctis (just added!), FINAL FANTASY VII: Cosmo Canyon, FINAL FANTASY VIII: Don’t Be Afraid, FINAL FANTASY IX: Roses of May, FINAL FANTASY X: Zanarkand. 
Tickets on-sale now! http://utahden.org/distant_worlds_music_from_final_fantasy


Join Silicon Slopes for some good BBQ and music while mingling with Utah's most prestigious Tech Companies! With food by Traeger and R&R Barbeque, drinks and fun by Peak Ventures, STACK Real Estate, and Silicon Slopes, you are sure to have a good time.  The event will be held outside Silicon Slopes' new headquarters from 11:30am-1:30pm on June 8 at Thanksgiving Park in Lehi (3300 N Ashton Boulevard at the Commons/Pavilion). 
RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stack-n-silicon-slopes-summer-bash-tickets-33934230196#tickets


E3 is the world's premier event for computer, video and mobile games and related products. At E3, the video game industry's top talent pack the Los Angeles Convention Center, connecting tens of thousands of the best, brightest, and most innovative in the interactive entertainment industry. For three exciting days, leading-edge companies, groundbreaking new technologies and never-before-seen products will be showcased. E3 connects you with both new and existing partners, industry executives, and the biggest fans of video games providing unprecedented exposure to emerging markets. E3 is where it all starts.
Details: https://www.e3expo.com/

Most Days in June - FREE FILMS!

Almost every day this month you can find terrific, engaging independent film showtimes all across the state! The wonderful Utah Film Center maintain a great list here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/UtahFilmCenter/events/

Weekly – SL CIRCLE

Our friends at SL Circle hold weekly lunch & learns and other events on different topics. They also have a monthly beer social last Friday of the month. Details of all these events: https://slcircle.com/events/

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays – ENTREPRENEUR LAUNCH PAD

As previewed at UDEN #13, ELP helps startups and small businesses on the Wasatch front. Mentoring, education, resources for growth. These occur every week: Tuesdays 1 – 3pm in Orem; Wednesdays 3 – 5pm in Kaysville and Fridays 1 – 3pm in Sandy. 
More info here: http://www.facebook.com/elputah/


Our partners at the Utah Film Commission have an events calendar - click on a date to see what is coming up this month!

Finally, if you have an upcoming event you would like to share with UDEN members, you can add it to our website for FREE here: http://utahden.org/upevents

Hope to see you at UDEN 15 next Wednesday!


     - J

Jon Dean
Chair, Utah Digital Entertainment Network

Join Our Community:
Web: http://www.utahden.org

Like & Follow us:
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/UtahDEN

Watch Past UDEN Meetings:
YouTube: Search for UDEN Utah

Contact us:
Email: [email protected]
Slack: theutahcollective.slack.com

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