AWE USA 2022

Oh, how the weeks fly by! And so did Bram, the founder of arfected, last month. He flew to the other side of the world (literally) to attend the AWE event in the United States of America. “Insert jealousy here.” In this blog, we will tell you all about the event and the new insights we have gathered. And believe us; you don’t want to miss this one. So, for this blog, let’s just pretend we’re hopping on a plane to Santa Clara right now. Enjoy your flight, we will see you on the other side!

AWE, what's that?

Sounds nice and all, but you are probably wondering what the AWE event is all about. Let’s explain. Last month arfected flew over to the USA to attend The Augmented World Expo (AWE), the leading AR/VR event series in the world. It covers Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, and all enabling emerging technologies. You could basically say that AWE is the heart of where the entire AR/VR industry comes together to catch up and do business. Sounds amazing, right? A great opportunity for arfected to meet partners and fellow creators. Also; a special thanks to Meta for the three-day access pass. As Bram said:

It was a great way to step out of the day to day business and think more about the long-term vision and strategy, while being surrounded by experts and companies that share the same passions. It brings together industry leaders, developers, designers and researchers from all over the globe.

Highlights of the week

We would love to share every little detail with you, but to be honest, that just doesn’t fit in this blog (the struggle is real). That’s why we have listed a number of jaw-dropping highlights from Bram’s AWE experience for you. Let’s dive in!

Bram van de Ven at AWE 2022

The Metaverse in my carry-on bag

Some titles speak louder than words and after attending this talk our carry-on bag was filled with many new insights. In this talk, presenter Marco Tempest debuted ultraportable real-time virtual production techniques, storytelling, gesture sensing, and swarm robotics, giving us a glimpse of a delightful augmented future.

Are your brains cracking yet? Let’s explain it more with a little less abracadabra.✨ Using a set-up consisting of a computer, camera, and a portable green screen the magic hour could begin. The camera recorded the presenter, also known as the virtual magician, and the green screen behind him, then cut him out and placed him in a 3D environment, for example in a fancy UFO experience. Sounds crazy, right?  It really was a breathtaking view of the future where AR technology is portable, easy to use, and a platform for human communication and creativity. It was also a very experimental talk, which made it an unforgettable and outstanding experience. You don’t always have to throw tons of money at something to innovate. You can start small and create a solution with things that already exist. How does that saying go; less is more? And to anyone who says magic doesn’t exist, you’re definitely wrong. 👀

The HaptX Gloves

This experience was out of this world, but also not entirely. Haptx allowed attendees to experience realistic touch sensation unlike any other device, by inviting them to be within the experience itself through sensing (so, experiencing real realism in interacting with 3D virtual objects in the virtual world — as if we are interacting physically with the actual objects themselves). This way, you could literally feel the VR. We know, that sounds mind blowing!

Although this technology already exists, it is very expensive. In addition, It’s not that user-friendly (yet), because you have to wear large glasses and super-gigantic gloves (it’s called fashion Susan, look it up). However, we are very curious where this technology will lead us. Let’s say; to be continued?

HaptX gloves

Key insights: what’s new?

Social is the place to be

The biggest social platforms were present at the event. Tiktok, for example, had installed a large LED screen that was three times as big as a human being, on which various tiktok effects were played, which you could try out. Snapchat and Meta were also prominently presented at the event. Bram:

The fact that these companies had such a prominent presence at an event about AR was a confirmation for me that we are in the right place.
Content is the key to success

There were at least 20 to 30 companies at the AWE event that all create headsets. That sounds cool, but the fact is that none of these headsets are going to be bought by consumers, because the quality, price and content are not suitable for this (yet). There’s just not enough quality content for these glasses, while content is the most important of all. For arfected this was a second confirmation. Bram:

We are not platform-bound. We are where our target group is. Right now that’s on social media, but in 5 years? Who knows? Maybe then it’s all about new Apple glasses that came out. In that case we will go with the flow and start creating content for those glasses. The content and the quality of this has always been the focus for arfected. And that is still crucial today. Before we start on a customer project, we do a lot of Research & Development to find out what is possible or not. That ensures that we are always researching the newest techniques and always work in the new releases and beta versions of Instagram and other platforms.

Content is one of the most important factors in the success of digital innovation, like AR glasses. To give you an example: that’s also the reason why Apple only wants to work with Hollywood directors for content creation on their upcoming glasses. They are aware that they need to have super good content, to make people buy their product. As beautiful as it may be and as well as it may work, no one is going to buy those headsets without some fun content. The companies that make these products will always need content. And then the circle is complete again, because that’s where we come in.

Future predictions: what’s next?

Rock your socials

As we mentioned before, social media is the place where everything is happening right now. The largest social platforms, such as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, are staying on top of the world of Augmented Reality and its evolutions. Due to their large user base, they reach a big amount of people. You’re probably on social media too, right? And perhaps this group of people will shift to another piece of hardware in the future, such as Apple glasses, resulting in more people starting to think about this more and become more interested in it. However, that’s not the case yet. Therefore, make sure to rock the content for your socials, because it has to be good. Really good.

Make sure your brand is present with good-quality content

The next 5-10 years will determine which platforms become popular and which do not. As a brand you have to make tactical use of this and respond on time. If you, for example, notice that TikTok is becoming more and more popular, then your brand has to ensure that there’s good quality content for it. As a result, that new user group will use and distribute your content. This way, it can do wonders for your brand, by giving you a quick brand presence with content on these major platforms. 🔮

Interested in what AR studios do besides attending these awesome events? Read the article here!