Wait, wasn’t AWE a few months ago? It was for America, but it’s the Augmented World Expo – there are three live AWE conferences throughout the year. Next, it’s time for AWE EU. We saw what AWE had to offer in Santa Clara this spring. So, what can we expect when it comes to Lisbon next month?
What to Expect
If you know the flow of AWE in the States, you’ll spot some similarities and differences. AWE EU still kicks off with Ori Inbar’s keynote. And, according to the current iteration of the agenda, Inbar’s keynote has the same theme as the one we saw in California in June.
Further, the legendary AWE Expo Hall is still a part of the European event. And, exhibitors can still win Best of Show awards at the wrap-up ceremony on the last day. However, AWE EU is two days instead of three. Further, there is only one Auggie Award ceremony, and it’s given at AWE US.
Different Voices at Different Volumes
Of course, one of the key differences between AWE US and AWE EU is that different individuals and organizations are active (or active in different ways) in Europe.
Perhaps no company demonstrates this more clearly than Pico. The company is active at AWE US, but will be making an announcement on the main stage immediately following Inbar’s keynote at AWE EU.
Pico is active in the US, but relatively quietly, as an enterprise-only company. However, Pico is an active consumer company in Europe. Handy thing that they’re there too, Meta is heavily entrenched in legal battles in much of Europe that don’t impact American markets.
Pico’s Neo 3 is largely seen as a Quest competitor, with the company recently launching a more connected version specifically for PCVR play. It is likely that the big announcement next month will regard the Pico Neo 4, with the announcement coming out around the same time as Meta’s expected announcement of the Cambria headset at Connect.
On day two, Pico’s Elaine Wong will also sit on a panel discussion, “This is How We Play: The Role of Gaming in the Metaverse.” Among others, Wong will be joined on the panel by Zilliqa Head of Metaverse and NFTs Sandra Helou representing the Metapolis virtual world. ARPost readers may remember Helou from when she took the time to talk with us earlier this year.
Later that morning (on a smaller stage), Meta’s Jasmine Oh will present “Designing for Integrity in VR.” The topic would be apt for American audiences as well, certainly. While the sentiments and suspicions are similar, the scene is certainly different across the Atlantic.
Of course, that’s not to say that Meta’s whole position in the Eurozone and AWE EU is fighting off the EU’s antitrust department. On day two, Meta’s Monica Ares will present “The Future of Learning is ‘Tribrid’: Building an Ecosystem for Learning in the Metaverse.”
The Usual Suspects
Of course, some names are big enough to be expected to appear everywhere that they go, and to play much the same role. A number of those names are also on the roster at AWE EU 2022.
Global Use Cases
One of the key benefits of XR in enterprise is remote collaboration. No companies showcase this better than global brands.
On day one, Jeremy Moussai and David Hinojosa of Nestlé will talk with Justin Perry of Immerse and Sara Boss of VRdirect about “Scaling XR at Nestlé.” Later that day, Pfizer’s Ronan Kelly will discuss how to “Bring XR Value to a Fortune 500 Manufacturing Space.”
On day two, Eric Florenzano and Russ Maschmeyer of Shopify will present “How to Mix Realities and Unlock Shopping Superpowers.”
The Fabricant, Ready Player Me, and More
On day one, Tumelo Setlaba of The Fabricant, Joanna Hadfield of the Global Digital Fashion Awards, Kaspar Tiri of Ready Player Me, Anne-Marie Enns of the Immerse Global Summit, and David Robustelli of Beyond will discuss “How Virtual Fashion is Recreating the Fashion Space for Brands and Consumers.”
Ready Player Me avatars are free to create (and to dress), but the platform is also integrated with crypto wallets allowing users to incorporate applicable NFTs. The Fabricant is a digital-first fashion studio, and Beyond is an immersive experience studio. There’s a lot to talk about here.
Microsoft, Google, the XRA – and That’s Just One Talk
A talk on day two will discuss “Reframing Identity for Mixed Reality,” and feature Carrie Valladares of Microsoft, Karim Mohammadali of Google, and XR Association Vice President of Public Policy Joan O’Hara.
Microsoft and Google both have significant infrastructure for digital identity – though, many of the Web3 adherents in the metaverse would like to see that infrastructure disestablished and put in the hands of individual users. If you need a primer for this discussion, consider following the AR/VR Policy Conference next week where both O’Hara and Mohammadali are speakers.
So Much More to See at AWE EU 2022
There is so much more on the agenda for AWE Europe – we couldn’t list it all. Other big companies include HTC Vive, HaptX, Niantic, and Amazon. Other big speakers include Antony Vitillo, Amy Peck, Alina Kadlubsky, and James Kaplan.
Of course, if you are not based in Europe, traveling to Lisbon for AWE EU 2022 won’t be cheap. Fortunately, readers of ARPost can get a 20% registration discount by entering promo code 22ARPOSTD.