The AWE is the worlds largest AR & VR conference and expo and it took place this year in Munich, Germany.

I had the chance to take a look at the latest developments in AR & VR software and hardware

VR-Devices
VR-Fitness devices or VR-Accessories (the shoes the girl is wearing) were also shown at the AWE

and was really surprised to see that the general interest for AR seems to explode, while the interest in VR seemed to have stabilised on a relatively low level or even decreased. Although a number of interesting new high quality VR headset were shown with high resolution and frame rate. I was impressed by the quality of immersion.

VR Headset
VR Hero Headset with extremely high resolution (5K) at 60-90 Hz refresh rate

After two days of very interesting talks and presentations the bottomline for me is that AR is the next star in the digital universe and will definitely bring us thousands of great experiences and solve many problems in the business and consumer areas in the next couple of years.

AR-Game
New AR-Game using Vuforia for development

With Apple’s ARKit (former Metaio), Googles ARCore (successor of project Tango), PTC’s Vuforia and Wikitude whe have the technology at hand that allows us to easily create the solutions that we were long waiting for. AR is now mass-market ready, as nearly all current smartphones support it and other wearables are available and more important: affordable. But they will become even better and  more affordable in the next 2-3 years.

Capture HW & SW
Capture Software and Hardware for VR and AR applications
Vuforia stand
Vuforia stand presenting their latest software and frameworks such as Model Targets and Ground Plane.
Meta Speaker wearing headset
The new AR-Wearable from Meta coming soon in the U.S.
wikitude stand
Wikitude develops AR software and is very often used in different apps
Surgery using AR
AR-Hardware (Hololense) used in a surgery
AR-glasses
Different AR-wearables and glasses
AWE AR technology
Many different AR devices, applications and software was shown at the AWE

The Gartner research institute gave a very interesting talk about their top predictions for 2017 and beyond. Their statements were as follows:

  1. By 2020, 100 Million Consumers Will Shop in Augmented Reality (AR) Worldwide
  2. By 2020, 30% of Web Browsing Sessions Will Be Done Without a Screen
  3. By 2022, the IoT Will Save Consumers and Businesses in the Range of US$ 1 Trillion a Year
  4. By 2021, 20% of All Activities in Which an Individual Engages Will Involve at Least of the Top Seven Digital Giants (rem.: which are Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent)
  5. By 2020, 40% of Employees Can Cut Their Healthcare Costs by Wearing a Fitness Tracker

Even though I would not approve point 5 in Germany due to privacy concerns, this may be correct for other countries such as the U.S. So it seams to be clear: AR & Bots are the next way to go if you want to be part of the future technology trend. We will see, but I would approve with most of Gartner points.

To sum it up: the AWE Europe was definitely a gain for me giving me tons of inspiration, new ideas and a very good overview of the state of the art technology in the VR & AR area. Recommended!

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