XR COMMUNITY COLLABORATION AND INDUSTRY GROWTH DOMINATE AT AWE EU 2018
AWE (Augmented World Expo) today kicked off its third annual European conference and expo with an exciting press conference featuring major announcements from some of the Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality (XR) industry’s top thought leaders and companies, including AWE, Digi-Capital, PTC, RE’FLEKT, Bosch, Vuzix, Upskill, Eyecandylabs, and the newly established Open AR Cloud Organization (OARC).
The morning began with opening remarks from AWE Co-founder and CEO, Ori Inbar, highlighting the XR industry’s growth echoed in AWE’s news of its global community expansion with the launch of 10 new AWE Nite meetup chapters: San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Berlin, Tokyo and Tel Aviv. The goal of AWE Nites is to advance the augmented reality industry in each city by connecting and empowering its community and to join these local communities to the greater AWE network which currently has a reach of over 250,000 professionals across all channels. Join a community and meet the organizers of each AWE Nite Meetup here.
“AWE is the world’s gathering place and showcase for the rapidly maturing XR industry–attracting the leaders, the doers, and the corporations evaluating adoption of XR technology,” said Ori Inbar, founder and CEO of AWE. “The ultimate goal of AWE is to inspire one billion active XR users by the year 2020, and all signs point to this becoming a reality: rapid XR adoption by the Fortune1000, big bets by tech, manufacturing and consumer giants, and record investment in the billions. These growth and collaboration factors, when combined with our news partnerships news, the expansion of our AWE Nites series to 10 cities worldwide, and our open call to the community at large for OARC awareness and involvement–make this year’s AWE EU our most compelling and powerful event yet.”
Inbar’s remarks were followed by the debut of exclusive market data, both globally and specific to EU, presented by Tim Merel, Managing Director of Digi-Capital, based on the results of an XR survey conducted in cooperation and partnership with AWE. One of the major findings highlighted in his presentation was the need for XR organizations to seek revenue opportunities outside of their geographic regions:
“Our work shows that the bulk of AR/VR startups aren’t selling outside their own backyards, at a time when growing revenue and extending financial runways are critical to survival. So while there is money to be had internationally, many are simply leaving it on the table. Although Chinese computer vision/AR investment grew 3x to $3.9 billion over the last 12 months, in stark contrast North American VC investment in AR/VR startups dropped below $120 million in Q3 2018. So North American startups (63% of revenue generated domestically) not making money in Asia (only 11% of revenue coming from the largest revenue region) or Europe (just 16% of revenue from the second largest revenue region) could be putting themselves at risk.”
The AWE EU 2018 press conference then debuted the following major announcements.
PTC announced new industry research with detailed findings of how augmented reality drives best-in-class performance in factory operations, service, and training. The report, compiled in conjunction with Aberdeen Group, identifies significant financial improvements realized by companies embracing augmented reality, and provides best practices for unlocking the potential of AR across a variety of environments.
Vuzix announced that it is ready to launch the Blade Edge commercial edition release of the Vuzix Blade® Smart Glasses and expects shipments the first week of November 2018. The first commercial release of Vuzix Blade includes the Blade Edge SDK version 5 commercial edition, which allows customers to take advantage of communication links between iOS and Android devices. The release also includes the Vuzix Blade companion app, featuring email, messages, media player support and user-specific application notifications.
RE’FLEKT unveiled a new standard enterprise operating system–built on its leading REFLEKT ONE Enterprise Augmented Reality ecosystem– with extensive partner network of global hardware, software and enterprise players. The standard enterprise operating system plus partner network opens up the workforce to utilize visual guidance powered by AR as an out-of-box integration to improve day-to-day tasks across all business sectors.
Upskill announced the expansion of its early access program for Skylight for Microsoft HoloLens to global customers. In addition, the enterprise AR software leader unveiled expanded device support and the availability of its latest Skylight for Mobile for Android and iOS. These enhancements allow users to leverage the Skylight AR software platform across multiple experiences and device paradigms –assisted reality on smart glasses, mixed reality on Microsoft HoloLens, and remote assistance on mobile devices.
Eyecandylabs announced the release of its augmen.tv SDK to allow customers to incorporate the software based solution into apps for augmented reality video and linear TV. The toolkit roll-out, which will initiate with the Unity SDK Plugin beginning in 2019 and followed by iOS and Android native SDKs, enables content creators to build engaging and interactive AR-experiences on video, driving user engagement and monetize it through new revenue streams.
Bosch introduced a new AR solution for the automotive industry: a link between the company’s ActiveSchematics software, which automatically generates VIN specific wiring diagrams to allow vehicle technicians to diagnose and repair vehicles, with its Augmented Reality application (CAP Common Augmented Reality Platform). When combined, the solution significantly reduces effort and time for automotive service technicians.
Open AR Cloud (OARC) initiative introduced at AWE USA 2018 including the introduction of its 16 founding members and an inaugural Open AR Cloud working session to focus on two core topics: the introduction of its “Privacy Manifesto for AR Cloud Solutions,” a policy statement outlining the organization’s preliminary seven core AR-Cloud privacy and security principles; followed by an open discussion on the development of a shared Spatial Index / DNS and frame of reference for a geographical 6dof/pose format.