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All the news from AWE 2022

Photo credit: AWE

By Tom Ffiske
VR/AR and metaverse analysis every Wednesday and Sunday // 5 June 2022 

As the Platinum Jubilee celebrations ween off, it was lovely to have a long break over the weekend (and with more flags than expected).

A recap of AWE

As AWE 2022 comes to a close, here is a news recap of all the items that have come from the event. Overall, it primarily operated as an exhibition space where companies showcased their patented technologies, alongside some high-profile keynotes from the likes of Unity.

(While I typically do long-form content on Sundays, the scale of AWE warrants a news digest dedicated to it. Keep reading for a new piece of content on marketing and the metaverse).

  • Avataar launched its AR e-commerce integration for retailers.
  • AWE announced its $100,000 XR Prize challenge, to encourage the fight against climate change.
  • Bytedance showed off the Effect House at AWE, to rave reviews.
  • Campfire announced the Campfire Studio Console, a device that delivers large-scale shared holograms in design studios and open workspaces.
  • Dispelix announced a partnership with Jade Bird Displays (JBD) to develop a family of new reference designs for AR glasses.
  • KP9 Interactive announced today a licensing partnership with NuEyes Technology, which specialises in delivering AR glasses.
  • Magic Leap showed off the Magic Leap 2, which is getting great reviews.
  • MetaVRse launched MetaVRse Engline 2.0.
  • Pimax announced the Pixac Crystal, a new headset.
  • Qualcomm announced the global release of the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform.
  • Snap announced its first AR Lensathon, with a top prize of $50,000.
  • Unanimous AI and Agora World announced a partnership to help bring its software platform into virtual worlds.
  • Unity‘s CEO came up with its (perhaps vague?) definition of the metaverse.
    • “The metaverse is the next generation of the internet that is always real-time, mostly 3D, mostly interactive, mostly social, and mostly persistent.”
  • XCOM Labs and The VOID created a realistic experience at the event.
  • Zappar announced new partnerships with Arcturus and Avatar SDK, and unveiled the Zapvision platform to help the partially sighted.

Remember that Google, Meta, and Microsoft run their own developer conferences, so they typically save their announcements for then.

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An excerpt from an upcoming guide

The following is an excerpt from an upcoming guide: The Marketer’s Guide to the Metaverse. Keep an eye on the newsletter for upcoming updates.

The first step a company needs to take is to judge whether it should take the step at all. Not every company needs to have messaging on the metaverse. At one point I saw a cannabis company talk to me about their metaverse strategy, which is like seeing a comic store diversify into fishing. The inauthenticity reeks, and normal people will shrug their shoulders and walk away. As Nathaly Tschanz said to me, “blind activism rarely pays off.”

The approach will age quickly too; in theory, having a metaverse presence might be as important as having a website. Nowadays, we don’t see many businesses boast about owning a domain. Still, we are a long way away from a defined vision. Joel Udwin, Senior Product Manager at Niantic, aptly commented that we are not at the ‘meta’ stage of the metaverse yet. 

Despite the noise, a lot of people don’t ‘get’ the metaverse quite yet. Wunderman Thompson Intelligence found that only 15% of people are actually able to explain what the metaverse is. A gulf between knowledge and understanding exists across the world; people observe the clamour of companies noisily shouting about their services, and have no idea what they are serving. On this, I agree with Randall White from agencyXcursion that we are seeing a ‘bridging’ of mass adoption, as we are going through the understanding phase of the metaverse. 

We will not get to a core understanding of the metaverse anytime soon. A family of definitions litter the internet, and the very discussion breeds more confusion. We will see an iron-clad version soon, but for now, it only fuzzes the debate even further. So in the meantime, focus away from the metaverse and more on your core value proposition.

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Meditative with the VIVE Flow. Photo credit: Tom Ffiske

Tom Ffiske

Editor, Immersive Wire

Tom Ffiske is the Editor of the Immersive Wire, a twice-weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.