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AWE (Augmented World Expo) USA 2022 will convene June 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in the heart of Silicon Valley, boasting 329 premier speakers and thought leaders, 250 exhibitors in 100,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, and over 5000 attendees.
With Meta (Facebook) racing to release its first AR glasses and projections of 15.8 million units sold by 2027, this topic will garner a lot of attention. Snap Inc.'s Spectacles, one of the few AR products that can be used outdoors, has generated excitement because of their “Connected Lenses” that offer speech recognition, 3D hand tracking and colocation. The Magic Leap 2 platform offers a positive user experience with its ergonomic, wearable AR device that works as a standalone headset without any wired or bulky hardware. In another vein, Walmart is using their Me@Walmart for associates to "simplify daily tasks." Although Apple is always secretive about any upcoming hardware, the company recently was awarded 42 patents covering eye tracking systems and more.
Hardware solutions like Microsoft's HoloLens 2, collaborating with Volkswagen AG, and Google Glasses, powering AI smart glasses for the blind, expand the capability of smart glasses and offer broad applications. Key players in the AR in aerospace and defense sector include Activision, AltspaceVR Intuitive Surgical, The Walt Disney Company, DraftKings Inc., Comcast, OTOY, Ubisoft, CCP Games, BAE Systems, Sony VRSE, Dassault Systèmes, Rockwell Collins, Safran and Boeing.
Niantic, Inc.'s acquisition of 8th Wall has made them a dominant player in entertainment and games, enabling Niantic to enhance its developer platform, while helping developers create their visions for AR. VR gaming continues strong growth with simulation hardware from providers like SIMLAB. However, we are still seeing the biggest shift in AR focused on practical applications like AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) with BIM and onsite visualizations. Autodesk's Construction Cloud's ability to manage and distribute AR assets in building processes is an example of trends within the industry. Digital Twins are now commonplace, as NVIDIA's Omniverse, a 3D design collaboration and world simulation platform, recently announced plans to build virtual cities.