Where can you find the best inspiration for AR and VR? Right, at the world's most important AR and VR conference, the Augmented World Expo (AWE). Our WebXR developer Anastasiia Miroshnichenko took a look around for Saint-Elmo's Berlin at AWE Europe 2019 in Munich and discovered exciting application examples for spatial computing and XR technologies.
Not just for nerds
Many small and large exhibitors at the AR and VR trade fair in Munich showed that XR technologies are by no means just for tech nerds. Whether in industry, the world of work, in the health sector, in education or in the entertainment sector – there are many possible uses for XR, some of which are already being used today.
For example, Bosch uses augmented reality to technically train employees. At the AWE, the automotive supplier showed how AR glasses can virtually look into an engine and learn more about its components and how it works. The various components are shown as virtual 3D objects and can be enlarged, reduced and rotated for a better view.
At the well-attended stand of the Finnish company Varjo, which presented its latest VR glasses, visitors could virtually design vehicles themselves and combine colors and materials according to their wishes.
The significance of XR for the medicine of tomorrow could be guessed at the Bebop Sensors booth, where you could touch a virtual heart with special gloves and even feel it beating.
In addition to exciting use cases, the fair also had a number of technical developments to offer. Several exhibitors, including HP, Rokid and Wikitude, presented new headsets. For 2020, nReal also announced smart glasses for spacial computing that have a particularly wide field of vision and can be connected to the smartphone.
There were also many examples of innovative platform solutions that should be of particular interest to companies. Among other things, the Scope AR WorkLink platform, which is intended to simplify the transfer of knowledge between employees. WorkLink can use these to document work steps and record tutorials, for example, or to look for visual instructions that other colleagues have shared. CGTRader takes a further approach: The company announced an AR platform for e-commerce, which is intended to enable companies to develop AR content more easily and to integrate it into online shops.
Of course, entertainment was not neglected at the AWE: Hologate's VR game, for example, triggered great enthusiasm among the audience, with several players being able to immerse themselves in the colorful Angry Birds universe at the same time.
And what does the future hold?
The many exciting use cases and technical developments that were presented at the trade fair, however, have shown one thing above all: that XR is by no means at the end of its story. Ori Inbar, co-founder of AWE, painted in his keynote "Are You Ready For Spatial Computing" the picture of a future in which the Internet will become a virtual 3D space. Communication would then take place less via text than via visual content and websites would be replaced by location-based and context-related "on-sites", which virtually complement the real world at every location. Not so unthinkable with the rapid development of XR technology.