AR/VR Leaders Imagine the Future at Augmented World Expo

More than 3,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors gathered in Santa Clara this week for the Augmented World Expo, now in its sixth year. The event, which has grown ten-fold since its inception, featured demos involving VR headsets, enhanced glasses, product-scanning apps and brain-scanning headbands. According to a recent Digi-Capital report, augmented and virtual reality is projected to reach $150 billion in revenue by 2020 (when AR is expected to dominate 80 percent of the market). AWE founder Ori Inbar believes “2016 will be the year of shakeups and mergers.”

“That rumbling, in fact, is well underway,” reports USA Today. “Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus Rift has led to a small avalanche of acquisitions and investments over the past months by big names such as Intel, Sony, Microsoft and Google.”

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AWE suggests that strong enterprise demand for AR/VR technologies will eventually help spur mainstream consumer adoption.

The event featured demos from companies including Altspace VR, Daqri, Intel, Letsee, Ngrain, Osterhout Design Group and others. USA Today has posted several compelling demo videos.

“For me the most important thing at the show was the Google Project Tango and Qualcomm Vuforia combo,” said ETC’s Phil Lelyveld, “which lets you scan a space with a tablet/phone then do all sorts of things with it — like put virtual objects in the real space and interact with them, or measure the distance between two objects, or build a virtual building then walk inside it and look out through the windows at the real room. It will compete with Intel RealSense.”