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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

What We’ve Learned From the 2019 Augmented World Expo

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

The following is an article “What We’ve Learned From the 2019 Augmented World Expo” by Marc Primo.

With over 7,000 tech enthusiasts in attendance this year, the 10th annual Augmented World Expo (AWE) once again proved to be a success. The one-hectare event featured a 20,000 square-feet activity area for enthusiasts to sample the latest in AR and VR experiences. More than 250 brands and developers also showcased some fantastic firsts in the industry.

Prior to the event, tech fans were already bracing for noteworthy debuts from major products, as well as the latest industry mergers that have created much hype for this year’s AWE. Head-mounted displays for AR have finally taken its place as an emerging favorite and an increasingly viable product line for 2019.

Noted developers who were at the event include Chicken Waffle and Real Max, with the latter introducing its new device that allows hand tracking and a 102-degree field of view. AWE co-founder and Super Ventures managing partner Ori Inbar spoke about the next dimension of spatial computing which delved on the subjects of AR cloud, and a reality-based Wikipedia visual design as he encouraged the use of graphics in communication innovations. He also discussed the possibilities of what he called ‘onsites’ or location-based sites as replacements for internet websites, and emphasized the continuing development of various platforms, devices, and markets for emerging technologies.

Even without the presence of more prominent companies like Apple, Google, or Amazon who all have their own developer conferences, this year’s AWE was able to highlight an emerging tech industry. Integrators with SaaS platforms, a method of providing software and licensing accessed online via subscriptions, took the spotlight, driving tech enthusiasts to head on over to various booths. Tim Merel, founder and managing director of Silicon Valley AR/VR adviser Digi-Capital also presented a keynote presentation during the expo, discussing what works and what doesn’t with AR and VR today. “Enterprise will be the biggest driver of smartglasses revenues for the next five years,” he predicted.

AR headsets are yet to be utilized by mainstream consumers and are seen to go widespread in no less than five years. But designs and new features of current generation devices are already showing users an insight of what future gadgets might be like.

Among the highly anticipated head-mounted displays for AR which were featured in this year’s AWE were Lenovo ThinkReality A6, seen to share potential apps such as remote assistance and enhanced training workflows; Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 and its many focused improvements and updated Android (8.1); and Tilt Five which focuses solely on tabletop gaming but boasts a dual protection system.

Considered by many as the most significant AWE to date, the expo’s first decade saw significant developments in the AR/VR industries. Technology has finally evolved the way developers want it, and much of what they need are already in place. Inbar also dubbed the 10th expo as “The Year of the Creator”, as if to usher in more innovations for the technology that could lead to more profits for the latest brands.

Nowadays, tech consumers have a wide array of choices available on the market, while there are more than enough companies to support the latest innovations. However, the challenge remains in how developers can stay ahead of the competition and continue to upgrade their products. One thing is for sure, we are all in for a more fantastic AR/VR experience in the near future.


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