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Augmented World Expo 2024 – Review & Commentary

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Augmented World Expo 2024 – Review & Commentary

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I would like to share three key observations from Augmented World Expo (AWE) 2024 – held June 18-20, 2024, in Long Beach, CA. My podcast partner, Tim Bajarin, and I were both speakers at this event. Let’s dig into the takeaways from the excellent keynotes, insightful Enterprise sessions, and wonderful new technologies on the exhibition floor.

These keynote sessions stood out:

 

Qualcomm Keynote Takeaways

  • The best way to interact with AI is VR
  • Google XR platform will imbed Snapdragon spaces

Meta Keynote Takeaways

  • Meta is making a comeback
  • Meta 3 passthrough capability
  • Meta’s focus on immersive learning
  • Meta’s new lifestyle app accelerator on Quest platform
  • META release of a new OS for the virtual world now open to developers

Modelez Keynote Takeaways

  • For Mondelez, connect, collaborate, develop, share, and learn are at the core of XR
  • They have developed XR & Metaverse Labs in UK, India, and US to show execs art of the possible for XR technologies
  • Their VR COE is at the core of their VR efforts

HaptX Keynote Takeaways

  • 4 million industrial robots in use today
  • Humanoid robots are the future (NVIDIA behind this big time)
  • Keep an eye on haptics in humanoid robot training

Tim Bajarin’s XR Headset Panel Takeaways

  • Big focus currently on enterprise apps, less focus on consumer apps
  • MR headsets likely to dominate in the future
  • Pass though capabilities are a great advancement in XR headwear
  • AR headsets are technically challenging
  • The Apple Vision Pro headset has set the ‘gold standard’ for headsets – Apple will likely come out with new and cheaper version in 2025
  • The industry is still looking for the ‘killer’ app for XR headsets; the biggest apps today include:
  • Training
  • Communications
  • Content sharing
  • Digital Twins
  • Remote assist

These Enterprise sessions stood out (in full disclosure, I was the Enterprise track chair on Day two of the AWE Conference)

IKEA Session

  • WOW!!
  • Ikea speaker shared with the audience Ikea’s journey through 3D Visualization and Spatial Computing
  • Ikea has been working in 3D for 8 years:
    • 2016 – VR app
    • 2017 – AR App (Ikea Place) that allows you to design your own room
    • 2019 – all kitchen planning tools move into 3D
    • 2023 – 3D images shown on all product pages
  • Scientific studies done by Ikea show the human eye focuses on 25% of the field of view, so when working in 3D you need to get this 25% focus correct for each product offering
  • Ikea is filling out its Spatial Computing offering that will focus on rooms, products, and simulation of products

Coca-Cola Session

  • Another Wow!! Session focused on XR and AI
  • A billion Coca-Colas ago was yesterday morning!
  • Coca Colas has worked hard to offer their user base the opportunity to help design Coke cans and tell the Coca Cola story:
    • Coca Cola Creations – limited edition Fizz, Drop, Starlight products, space in culture, Byte Limited Edition, Y3000 Limited Edition all designed by its customers
    • Impressive results for most of these limited editions:
      • 300M social media impressions, 120,000 images created, >7 minutes average time on platform
    • Coca-Cola Christmas cards designed by consumers using AI tools offered by Coca Cola

One of the best Enterprise sessions was the Primer for Entering Enterprise VR

  • Fisher Scientific speaker focused on reducing returns
  • KLM ground services speaker guy spoke about the new KLM new VR Center of Excellence
  • Coca Cola service enrichment & services speaker spoke about deploying VR training and Remote assist

Biggest challenge to implement XR within an organization:

  • Change management — “why change what’s working” pushback from executives so start small and get VR glasses onto the faces of executives

Lessons learned:

  • Get IT involved early on
  • Try to identify what other divisions are doing or using (Oculus 2, other devices)
  • Getting marketing and product management involved in your VR initiative early on so they can identify where VR models can be used multiple ways — “create once and use multiple ways”

Next steps now that AI is here:

  • Avatar training
  • Content development

VR Applied to the Enterprise session

Rolls Royce speaker (VR & AR engineering focus)

Boeing speaker (VR training)

Key takeaways: – two metrics:

  • Rolls Royce: 1/2 hour on VR saves days of time doing it in the traditional way.
  • Boeing: Used HoloLens (2,000 hours over 1,000 installation plans) and this delivered a 20% reduction in design, and an 80% reduction in defects.

Enterprise AR Work Instruction Session

  • Blue Origin (big users of AR & VR) speaker
  • Sphere (a spatial computing company) speaker
  • Arvizio (Canadian company focusing on the enterprise) speaker
  • Lockheed Martin speaker from Canada working in their airplane engine department
  • Scope AR speaker

Key takeaways:

  • XR is a great vessel for AI; it is a perfect way to interact with AI

Navigating the Fusion of Physical & Digital Marketing Session

  • Hershey speaker
  • Nestle Purina speaker
  • BlueSe7en Media speaker

Key takeaways:

1. ROI Question

  • You position your request differently for CEO, legal, finance, etc.
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) can be powerful
  • Show financial backers TRON, Ready Player One — must show them some form of visualization
  • Get the executives into a headset ASAP
  • “Show, don’t tell"

2. How do we get people excited about purchasing your product in the Metaverse? XR packaging is key. In the case of Purina, how do you get someone excited about going to the store to buy dog food? I have a dog of this breed, this age, this weight, etc., -- you ask: “Which food should I buy” and the shelf lights up showing the products for your dog

3. Where will spatial computing be in 2029?

  • Digital renaissance replaces all the bad that has taken place over the past few years. We will all be wearing some type of digital glasses. Holograms will make a bigger presence; holograms do not require a headset.
  • Think an idea and let AI bring it into reality — text to animation, text to video plus AI
  • Hyper personalization becomes available

‘Shopping is the Future’ session

VNTANA speaker

Amazon speaker

Key takeaway:

  • Amazon provided detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to navigate 3D and the AR revolution on Amazon

How Walmart Launched VR Training in an Open Ecosystem session

Two Walmart speakers and their VR vendor told Walmart’s the VR Training story, which is an episode on our Business Success in the Virtual World podcast

Key takeaways:

  • >1 million people trained using VR headsets; read our podcast episode on Walmart
  • Walmart CEO Doug McMillon’s commitment to an immersive environment at CES 2024

These technologies on the expo floor stood out:

  • Meta’s exhibition booth focused heavily on enterprise apps
  • Meta 3 and Meta Pro’s headsets ‘pass-through’ capability
  • Qualcomm’s excellence creating the software (e.g., Snapdragon Spaces) to work and play in the virtual world
  • How far haptics have come along (HaptX booth)
  • The new Spacetop computing device: The world's first augmented reality laptop
  • Campfire, who Campfire provides a new generation of devices and applications that enable hybrid teams to communicate and collaborate with 3D information
  • The UneeQ ‘digital human’ avatar – many breakthroughs will result from this new technology
  • Several new XR glasses including Sony’s new offering used by Siemens in their industrial Metaverse efforts
  • A lot of new sports and health VR apps

 

My Metaverse business partner, Tim Bajarin, and I are keen to assist enterprises at each step of the way to ensure their successful entry into the Metaverse. To read about additional automotive (e.g., BMW) and related Metaverse case studies, I strongly encourage you to visit ISM’s award-winning Metaverse Resource Centerwww.ismguide.commetaverse-resource-center – where in addition to gaining access to more than 300 Metaverse case studies, more than 300 Metaverse articles, and more than 100 Metaverse videos, you can download ISM’s new ‘8 Steps to Do Business Successfully in the Metaverse’ White Paper, download ISM’s New ‘VR Training Guide for the Enterprise,’ learn about and sign-up for ISM’s complimentary 2-hour Metaverse Executive Bootcamp, and more. 

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Barton Goldenberg (bgoldenberg@ismguide.com) is president of ISM, Inc. Since 1985, ISM has established itself as the premier strategic advisor leveraging leading edge technologies – the Metaverse, Digital Communities, and CRM – to create and implement customer strategy with a focus on sales, marketing and customer service. His thought leadership including creator of the ‘Business Success in a Virtual World’ podcast, creator of the award winning Metaverse Resource Center, and author of three business books including The Definitive Guide to Social CRM. He is also in high demand as a keynote speaker (www.bartongoldenberg.com).

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