Virtual Reality Nears

Published in Markham Review, March 2014

If neat gaming apps excite you or a remote controlled robot sounds cool, then hopefully you were one of the many people who joined the inaugural Gaming First Contact event.

Some of the most successful and thriving digital gaming and app developers in the nation came together in November at Five Lamps Tavern in Unionville and shared many great ideas.

Cross Wing was one of the many innovative companies in attendance. Their virtualME robot with iPad attached, lets you remotely keep an eye on family while enjoying great conversation and viewing what they are doing. “This robot allows people to reach out to their loved ones and participate in their day,” says Stephen Sutherland, CEO at Cross Wing. The limited edition hand-built custom virtualME telepresence robots that are currently available start at $20,000 each.

marksaltzman.jpgSutherland has decided to use Kickstarter later this month to help obtain the capital needed for the production of virtualME. He will be offering pre-orders of the production launch model at a rate of about $1500. The future is here!

The event featured a panel of experts sharing their views of the ever-changing digital gaming landscape, offering advice on how to navigate this complex and competitive space, and sharing stories of their successes. The panel discussion was led by celebrity tech guru, Marc Saltzman, who has been reporting on the high-tech industry as a freelance journalist for almost 20 years.

“I am thrilled to see a vibrant and growing gaming cluster and ecosystem just north of Toronto in York Region. The caliber of talent and range of solutions is incredible -- there are companies developing mobile games, virtual reality platforms as well as the embedded chips at the heart of some of the well-known console and virtual reality units,” says Marc Saltzman.

The Remington Group’s Downtown Markham partnered with the City of Markham and York Region’s Economic Strategy Branch to make this event possible. “We’re fortunate to have partners at all the right levels of government to make an event like this possible,” says Evelynn Ratcliffe, Retail Marketing for Downtown Markham. “Together we will challenge the outdated notion that great gaming companies only come from Silicon Valley.”

”We’re ecstatic with the response we’ve had already, and look forward to developing more unique events for talented and enthusiastic residents and businesses in Markham and the Region,” adds Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe always seems to have a unique local event planned for those wanting to push the envelope and explore new things. Visit to see what’s next.

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