3D Studio Blomberg at Augmented World Expo 2016
Our team at 3D Studio Blomberg, along with key partners, travelled to Santa Clara, California, to attend the Augmented World Expo. The event is the largest annual conference and exhibition about Augmented Reality worldwide, with over 4000 attendees and 250 exhibitor booths. During the two days, I had the opportunity to make interesting new contacts, meet other AREA members, see and try a variety of innovative AR and VR solutions and attend the enterprise AR tracks hosted by the AREA.
Larger Players Entering the Market
Judging by the offerings on display at AWE, the ecosystem for enterprise AR products and services is expanding. Players like PTC (Vuforia), Osterhout Design Group (ODG) and Microsoft through HoloLens had observably increased their footprint at the event, and even the presence of VR products at an AR show confirmed the overall trend of a growing ecosystem. Microsoft presented its HoloLens product hosted by Vuforia and its technical capabilities are impressive. We view all this as a positive development as it will bring increased competition and more innovative market offerings.
AR in Enterprise Sessions
The AREA-hosted AR in enterprise track featured speakers and AREA members on a diverse range of topics from IoT to security. The sessions were interesting but they highlighted the array of challenges still facing companies seeking to implement Augmented Realty in the workplace. One fundamental takeaway was that widespread adoption of AR in industry isn’t solely a technological issue of AR, but rather is the result of steady improvements in the surrounding mix of technologies such as IoT, Big Data, etc. As these enabling features and technologies improve, they make the value proposition of AR even more compelling.
Another insight from the sessions was the idea of mental models and how we imagine innovations should work—but that actually turn out to be quite different in reality. We need to avoid this pitfall when thinking about AR and the problems it solves.
Lastly, partnerships are essential for expanding the ecosystem and assuring its success. For example, ODG makes great smart glasses but they need partners that create virtual content in order to get the most out of their products. All of these key ingredients will produce the necessary lifting power to make AR a killer app.
AWE was a rich, rewarding experience that we and our partners in attendance enjoyed immensely. As content providers for AR-enabled enterprise systems, we appreciated the opportunity to meet a variety of potential partners to which we add value. We’re looking forward to turning the ideas gained from the conference into reality, and to contributing to the exciting and growing marketplace for Augmented Reality.