While many of you are surfing and lounging on a sandy beach or trying to figure out how to balance work with the high summer temperatures in the open air, I've talked to all the companies that make Augmented Reality what it is today ,
My best opportunity came during the last AWE conference in Silicon Valley in June. From tiny startups traveling from Asia to big players who have been working on AR for years, these companies have all gathered on one side to attend the largest gathering of AR experts the world has ever seen.
Framed by panel presentations and a huge demo floor to showcase AR's latest hardware and software, this was really a great AR think tank. Here, the AR trends for the next 1
2 months have been unintentional in some cases and quite deliberate in others.
So what does it all mean? After mixing all the biggest heads in AR together in one place for several days of insider chatter, rumor and speculation with very real products, what did we learn? A lot, actually. Let's take a look …
Apple vs. Everyone Else
While thousands of attendees gathered in Santa Clara to talk, hear and share the latest AR, there was a marked lack of discussion about the largest AR platform on the planet: Apple's ARKit -powered iOS
Sure, there were a few apps on offer that used iOS, such as the Indonesian Octagon Studios' AR flashcards for learning (paleontology, planetology, anatomy, etc.), Seattle-based Dance Reality (Andy Albanis ARKit app that teaches you how to dance) and LA's Living Popups that produce a rolling animated AR show, you can watch by pressing your smartphone's camera on the conference badge.
But beyond the flimsy app here and there, there was almost no discussion on smartphone-based AR and certainly no discussion of Apple's rapid dominance of the mobile AR space. With Apple's annual WWDC conference held just a few days after AWE near San Jose, the silence over Apple was deafening. Was it envy? Forgetfulness in a sea of alternative AR options?
The rest of the AR industry has decided that it does not have to play by Apple's rules – with the hat in hand, for some space on the iPhone and iPad. 19659012] Maybe that was for some factors. But I think it was something else. Much like the tech industry's response years ago to Apple's decision to break away from the now-defunct Macworld Expo, and thereby increase the walled garden software ecosystem, I think the rest of the AR industry has decided That there is no need to play by Apple's rules – with the hat in hand, for some space on the iPhone and iPad. No, this is a whole new space, powered by an incredibly diverse array of hardware and software solutions that all fight for the mind while AR relentlessly finds its way into the mainstream.
From this point of view, it is obvious why there was none. There is much discussion about Apple's extremely aggressive steps to capture the AR range. The AR industry is too busy creating itself to over-deal with Apple's AR aspirations. Honestly, I love this attitude. It shows how unformed and full of opportunities the AR industry is in 2018. And with this attitude, there will likely be a range of products and experiences that we can not even imagine we would ever see. Present and Future of Augmented Reality in 2018 ” width=”480″ height=”480″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>
Octagon Studio's AR flashcards for childhood education , Image by Adario Strange / Next Reality
In 2018 it is easy to believe that this was a natural progression, but I can very well remember all doubters in 2014 who rejected the rumor and later, in 2015, passionately argued that the Apple Watch is just a niche device that would be considered Apple's first major failure since the departure of Steve Jobs. Today, the Apple Watch is a hit. So while everyone is concentrating on their AR knitting, they would also do well to keep an eye on what Apple does in AR, because it could change everything sooner than we think.
The Augmented Elephant in the Room
So, yes, Apple was out of sight and mostly completely crazy. But if you're familiar with the story of Apple's relationship to the rest of the tech industry, that should not be a big surprise. But was a surprise while AWE was the fact that the most hyped augmented reality brand, Magic Leap, was completely invisible during the conference.
No booth, no presentation, no company hype. Perhaps Magic Leap boss Rony Abovitz takes another page from Apple's playbook and chooses the mystery of scarcity to fuel the excitement as the company prepares to release its Magic Leap One headset later this year.
And just to show how strange the absence of Magic Leap was, I'll share some of the AR There were some of the luminaries that were there: Tony Parisi (with whom I talked about the industry's explosive growth), Metas Joe Mikhail, Ajay Singh, director of Samsung NEXT, Brian Mullins, founder of DAQRI, Yelena Rachitsky of Oculus, Lance Anderson of Vuzix, Hugo Swart of Qualcomm Technologies, Michael Yang of Comcast Ventures, Phil Keslin of Niantic, and many others, including Microsoft executives, Warner Bros., Amazon, Time Inc., Bloomberg, Verizon, IBM, and HTC.
Me think you understand the idea. It was the place for someone who invested in AR (even if you call your AR brand "mixed reality" or "Spatial Computing")
And along with the absence of any phys European Presence, Like Apple, Magic Leap did not seem to talk at all. I've been thinking about it for a long time, and at the time I feel like people are just tired of Magic Leap's secrecy and secrecy. It was cute in the first few years, but now that many companies have delivered the second and third iterations of their innovative AR products, the tales of wonder and awe started by people who have tried the Magic Leap One have begun to go hollow many insiders sound.
Magic Leap has used up all of its "magic dust" and the benefit of the doubt given by viewers, and now the industry is just waiting for the company to deliver on its high promises.
Looks Like Magic Leap has consumed all its "magic dust" and the benefit of the doubt given by viewers, and now the industry is just waiting for the company to deliver on its high promises. Inevitably there will be disappointment if the device is only marginally better than the HoloLens
But if meets the hype and outperforms HoloLens and others in a major, we all win. We'll know a little bit more next week when Magic Leap gives us (via its monthly twitch show) the first public live demo of the software that works with the headset.
AR goes to business
People keep wondering whether I've seen any trend lines at the AWE conference and after long thinking that it's only amidst the chaos of hundreds of new companies plunging into a new industry A Real Trend: Enterprise AR vs. Consumer AR