Creative BC News

An Interview With Dan Burgar for Archiact

Apr 25, 2018 | Interactive + Digital Media, News, Uncategorized

“The ecosystem is evolving rapidly; we need to come
together as an industry and share best practices
and support one another.”
-Dan Burgar

 

The world of virtual and augmented reality is hard to pin down – it’s new and constantly evolving with surprises around every corner. The industry is watching for that one big thing that will tip the masses and get everyone on board. It’s an exciting time to be working in the industry, and Dan Burgar knows this, perhaps better than anyone.
 
After working in gaming for years, Dan attended a technology conference in Barcelona, and it was there that he saw the possibilities of virtual reality (VR). “I walked past this booth with VR headsets and I put one on. I was awestruck! I knew, then and there, that this technology was going to take over the world as we know it. It was a profound moment, like a lightbulb went off. I knew this was innovation that could disrupt so many industries.” Dan then started working with Archiact, a Vancouver-based company specializing in virtual and augmented reality (AR), and suddenly the possibilities he imagined started to become a reality. “We go into companies and show them how VR could disrupt their industry, and then we help them build products or content that will make all the difference when that disruption hits.”
 
Vancouver has a long history with gaming, visual effects (VFX) and film. Add to that the startup culture in the city, and the tax credits being offered, and it’s the perfect place for virtual reality to really take foot. “Archiact has helped build the
whole ecosystem and culture of VR and AR here in Vancouver.” Dan then started the Vancouver chapter of the Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Association
(VRARA), shining the spotlight on Vancouver as a hub for virtual and
augmented reality. “No one really knew what was happening here in Vancouver; they didn’t take us seriously,” explains Dan. “Before 2017,when we first started, there were maybe a handful of VR companies in the city, now there are over 150
across the Lower Mainland.”
 
While most people still think of VR as gaming, Dan knows that this industry will make a more profound impact sooner than we realize. “People think VR is fun and cool, but they don’t see the practical aspects. There is potential to work
with architects designing new buildings, to train surgeons, to transport
students to the battlefields of WWII. You’ll be able to walk down the streets of Japan and translate the signs you see into any language you choose. We are so close to all of that happening!”
 
“Creative BC has helped cultivate the growth of this industry. From sponsoring our conferences to sending us to events, they’ve made a huge impact. They’ve helped us champion the industry and get our ideas in front of as many people as
possible.”