The 9th AWE (Augmented World Expo), showed many new innovations and the future of XR at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley. Hosting the innovative thinkers and doers, from major international brands to hundreds of startups, AWE 2018 truly mirrored the growth and maturity of the expanding XR industry.
AWE 2018 Highlights
From May 30 to June 1, Vuforia, Qualcomm, Bosch, DAQRI, Kopin, Microsoft, ODG, Vyking, PIXAR, Google, Sony, Epson, Samsung, WXR, Virtual World Society and many more took the AWE 2018 keynote stage to share breaking news in technology developments.
The AWE Conference Agenda covered the full spectrum of the XR industry through the eyes of more than 400 speakers and nearly 300 conference sessions, covering crucial topics such as: AR cloud, blockchain and cryptocurrency, WebXR, AI, ML & CV, the roll-out of 5G, wearables and headworn devices, 3D spatial computing, autonomous vehicles, enterprise XR, investments in XR and a look at the ethical and cultural impact of XR and the need for equality within this space.
On May 31, the AWE 2018 Press Conference invited 15 companies, including Kopin, RealWear, eSight, Wikitude, Vyking, Vuzix, Kaayatech, Ultrahaptics, NuHeara, Zappar, ScopeAR, vSports, Resonai, Varjo and Mantis Vision onto the main stage to reveal new product, service and partner announcements with press, analysts and attendees. In addition, AugmentedReality.org–the non-profit behind AWE–kicked off an initiative to promote collaboration on an Open AR Cloud.
"Large and small companies from around the globe arrived in Silicon Valley to use AWE 2018 as a launchpad for the augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies transforming our world," said Ori Inbar, founder and producer of AWE. "With XR deployments already delivering meaningful ROI to Fortune 1000 companies (from 25% to 99% in productivity gains) it's no surprise that XR is on the cusp of skyrocketing to a $215 billion industry. Every organization, startup and investor must consider XR or be left behind--and with its panoramic view of the industry, there is no better place than AWE to dive in."
Also, on May 31, under the banner "Go XR, Be Awesome," AWE celebrated the winners of the 9th annual Auggie Awards, celebrating the very best in augmented and virtual reality. Awards were presented in 10 general categories, ranging from Best Consumer App to Best Developer Tool. And during the June 1 closing ceremony, AWE announced its Auggie Awards winners for Best-in-Show Augmented Reality (Upskill) and Best-in-Show Virtual Reality (Where Thoughts Go), as well as the winners of two new categories: Startup to Watch (Varjo) and the AWEsome award (HoloPlayer One by Looking Glass Labs).
"As one Auggie winner colorfully stated at the ceremony: 'This means more to me than any other award win, because the people who vote for this know how hard it is to build what we build, so thank you,'" shared Ori Inbar, co-founder and executive producer of AWE, adding: "Every submission grabbed the attention of AWE, all truly representing what the Auggie Awards are all about: driving innovation and improving humanity. The quality of nominations and winners exceeded our expectations and we thank everyone--our entrants, judges, sponsors and partners for supporting this annual celebration of AR, VR, MR creativity and brilliance!"
Winners of the 2018 Auggie Awards are:
- Best-in-Show Augmented Reality – Skylight by Upskill
- Best-in-Show Virtual Reality – Where Thoughts Go
- Startup to Watch – Varjo
- AWEsome Award – HoloPlayer One by Looking Glass Labs
- Best Consumer App sponsored AugmentedReality.org – IKEA Place by IKEA
- Best Art or Film sponsored by IEEE-SA – "Karim & Noor" by Blink Studios
- Best Creator & Authoring Tool sponsored by Microsoft – Gravity Sketch
- Best Campaign sponsored by PTC Vuforia – Acura AR Race by Current Studios
- Best Developer Tool sponsored by DAQRI – Unity
- Best Enterprise Solution sponsored by Kopin – Holoroom Test Drive by Lowe's Innovation Labs
- Best Game & Toy sponsored AugmentedReality.org – Star Wars: Jedi Challenge by Lenovo
- Best Headworn Device sponsored by Qualcomm – Vive Pro by HTC
- Best Input or Output Hardware sponsored by Bosch – Holo-Stylus by Holo-Light
- Best Interaction Software Tool sponsored HTC – ManoMotion
- The full list of winners and finalists including videos can be found here: https://augmentedworldexpo.com/auggie-award-finalists/.
- In addition to the Auggie Awards, the Virtual World Society presented its Nextant Award to two XR pioneers, Nonny de la Peña, an American journalist, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and Founder of Emblematic Group and Mark Bolas, a researcher, MR pioneer and Professor of Interactive Media in the USC Interactive Media Division.
AWE also announced the official dates for AWE Europe 2018 on October 18-19 in Munich, Germany and AWE Tel Aviv 2018 on November 5. Also announced was the latest schedule of AWE Nite meetups which take place monthly in San Francisco, New York, Toronto and Chicago. Details for AWE Asia will be announced shortly.