There are not many event series I can say I have attended since day one but the Augmented World Expo, formerly the Augmented Reality Event, is one I can put in that category. This was the 8th annual event and no doubt it sure has come a long way since that first event I visited in 2010.
AWE is the largest event focused on the commercial side of AR, VR, and includes wearables.
“AR and VR are bringing superpowers to the people and this year we are on a mission to highlight how to use these Superpowers to Change the World. This year’s conference and expo will showcase speakers, startups and organizations who are using AR & VR to drive economic growth, encourage empathy and collaboration, democratize healthcare and education, and promote sustainability in the world.”
This year was the best year for AWE in my opinion and their biggest ever. The event brought in 4,700 attendees, 351 speakers, and 212 exhibitors from all over the world.
I got to assume my normal duty as chair for the Developer Track on Wednesday and this year switched it up with Thursday in the Consumer Track.
On Wednesday, I had a great panel ‘WebVR, WebAR and the Distribution of Volumetric Content at Scale Through the Web’ with an all star lineup of speakers. Blair MacIntyre gave a great presentation on his work with WebAR and I loved his slide that stated, “The Metaverse is the Web”.
Another presentation on immersive web technologies came from Augmented Reality guru Rob Manson (awe.media) with his talk titled, ‘Computer Vision Now Available on Over 2 Billion Web Browsers!’
More can be learned about WebAR on this post here from Winston Chen.
Friday I got the opportunity to wander the expo floor and visit the new Augmented Playground. I also got to participate on a panel on community building and hackathons with great folks from the Seattle VR community and Virtual Worlds Society.
As someone that has watched the AR industry since 2008, not much has changed regarding how people are using it or trying to make money. Like VR, it still seems like a problem looking for a solution. Don’t get me wrong there were plenty of examples how the technology improves certain processes and industries present, but the progress definitely doesn’t match the hype of the media but hey, it never does. One thing is for sure, AWE lived up to the hype and then some.
Great job Ori and team for another amazing event. I look forward to next year’s and keep promoting the companies that give us humans our technical superpowers!