Speaker Profile: Dean Johnson, Brandwidth

Speaker Profile: Dean Johnson, Brandwidth

Dean Johnson, Head of Innovation at creative company, Brandwidth, is one of 60 world-class speakers appearing at VR Connects London 2017 on the 16-17th January 2017. To hear Johnson speak in person, book your ticket now!


Q: What do you do?

A: I spend a lot of my time waving my arms around. That’s a throwback to my days as a Creative Director, where I used to creatively direct a team of designers with comments such as, “Make it bigger. Move it to the left a bit. Red, add some red!” Now my arm waving is to demonstrate a passion and vision for the future, usually on conference stages, in boardrooms and in front cameras around the world.

I work across the Brandwidth business teams to highlight future technology from our start-up and global tech partners and how our brand clients can capitalise on this. Designing the future is much more fun than answering a hand-me-down creative brief; it’s about the creative application of industry insight – not fanciful guesswork!


Q: What makes you most excited for VR as whole?

A: Of all the platforms and technology I’ve had the pleasure (or misfortune) of working with in more than 30 years in design, tech and publishing, VR really excites me. It appeals to the rebel in me, as I don’t like being constrained by technological limitations such as resolution, processing speed and plugins. VR allows us to be creative beyond anything else – the only boundaries being good ol’ time and budget. And motion sickness...


Q: What are your thoughts on the way the VR industry has grown in the last 12 months?

A: Looking inwards, which the industry is sadly guilty of, we’ve built on early developer edition headsets with real consumer contenders. Unfortunately, the high-end market (Vive & Rift) still feels elitist as they demand such a financial commitment from consumers. Samsung and Google continue to do good work to democratise the industry and get handsets on heads, even if I was left distinctly underwhelmed by Google Daydream View.


Q: What major trends do you predict for VR in 2017?

A: The next 12 months is when the conversation moves from ‘experts’ to consumers (and mainstream press) and they have real opinions, rather than the inwardly-focused conversation we’ve been having for the last three years. VR will begin to prove its worth in education. The music business will deliver a killer app and 2017 finally heralds the dawn of the VR sex robot. The future’s bright, if slightly sticky.


Don’t miss your chance to hear Dean Johnson’s Superstar Session at VR Connects London, where he will be discussing Multiple Realities: Where the REAL Storytelling Happens, at 09:40 on 16th January 2017. Book your ticket now! 


About The Speaker

As an accomplished design leader, writer, presenter, BBC tech pundit and Head of Innovation at Brandwidth, Dean Johnson is shaping the connected future for film, TV, automotive, publishing, music, education and leisure sectors with the emphasis on user experience and engagement. Dean is a Fellow and former VP of the Chartered Society of Designers and a Mentor for the British Fashion Council.

As the co-host of #StereocastVR, Dean is also pushing Virtual Reality boundaries further than ever before with the world’s first full live-action VR series, taking the audience into the action alongside the guests, live music and experiences. Dean writes for numerous publications, his own blog,, and is the author of international #1 interactive iBook, ‘Digital Publishing: The Next Steps’.

Recent conference appearances have included: BDL Accelerate, IAB MIXX, Develop:VR, FutureFest, IBC Rising Stars, Capitol Hill VR, AWE Santa Clara, FashTech Summit, Smart IoT London, TEDx Athens, The Wearable Technology Show, Silicon Beach, Bitspiration, Mobile Show Middle East, DBW New York, CONTEC Frankfurt and lecturing at the Strelka Institute Moscow.


About VR Connects London 2017

More than 500 delegates from the VR/AR industry will gather at London venue The Brewery on the 16-17th January 2017 for the first ever VR Connects London. Over the two days of the event, 60 expert speakers across four conference tracks will cover the key issues for the VR, AR and MR industry, from global trends and new tech to monetisation. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss out – get yours now! 

Managing Editor

Steve is an award-winning editor and copywriter with nearly 25 years’ experience specialising in consumer technology and video games. He was part of a BAFTA nominated developer studio. In addition to editing, Steve contributes to,, and, as well as creating marketing content for a range of SMEs and agencies.