The International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM), technically co-sponsored by IEEE for the last two editions, is the premier forum for the presentation of research on 3D acquisition, multimedia visualization, interaction technologies and their applications. Known for its multidisciplinary approach, VSMM has become a bridge between technology, art, history, science and engineering. Held annually since 1995 (excepting 2011 when the Egyptian conference was cancelled for public safety reasons), VSMM2012 will be the 18th gathering of the VSMM Society. As the textquotedblInformation Societytextquotedbl has matured, interaction with digital worlds through virtual systems and multimedia is finally reaching everyday users. The last few years have witnessed a dramatic growth in 3D textquotedblconsumertextquotedbl technology (from stereoscopic television to 3D interaction devices for videogames and from 3D gesture control for tablet computers to augmented reality on smartphones), together with a progressive increase in broadband digital infrastructure. Virtual and augmented reality technologies, once the domain of elite laboratories, are now commonplace. From cultural heritage, where 3D content is today almost a requirement, to medicine, the arts, film, and games, quick and accurate 3D content generation and its remote manipulations is increasingly important. What is next? Will virtual visits supplant actual tourism, or will the virtual create greater need to see the real? How will ubiquitous 3D change everyday life? VSMM2012 focuses on “Virtual Systems in the Information Society” and will bring together leaders from across the globe in the fields of engineering, culture, the arts, and the human sciences, to present, discuss, and debate the latest developments in virtual systems and multimedia. Four main tracks are offered, two oriented to technological developments (3D Content Development and Visualization & Interaction), and two to application-oriented research (Cultural Heritage and VSMM, Art, & Society), as specified in the call for participation.