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Preparing for AWE 2022

By Tom Ffiske
VR/AR and metaverse analysis every Wednesday and Sunday // 29 May 2022 

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AWEsome week ahead

Another year, another AWE USA. The popular immersive tech event returns, with businesses flying into Santa Clara to chat, network, and explore the technologies that bind the community together. While I will not be there (sadly), I will be reporting on all the key announcements with analysis.  

I expect a few surprises, but based on what I have seen so far from preliminary conversations, I expect the following: 

  • Metaverse hype: New companies will dip into the fray, bolting ‘metaverse’ signs on the side of their products as they network with the community. While obtuse, I want the community to treat the new players with the same openness and kindness that has marked it apart from other industries. 
  • Glasses: Expect updates on specs during the event. The ones that excite me are smaller yet necessary innovations that go beyond consumer-end models. 
  • Realism: I have the impression that companies want to genuinely dip into the realism of immersive technologies, rather than the lofty heights of pure speculation. I hope the sentiment comes through, as I would love to see how the announcements of this year will define the next 12 months. 

For UK folks, AWE also occurs during our Platinum Jubilee. If someone can bring the two together, I will be impressed. 

Supported by Zesty

With Zesty, you can advertise your brand or product to a monthly audience of over 450,000 metaverse users while they’re in an immersive experience. Click to learn more.

A focus on user-generated content

Elijah Tai, Co-Founder of Zesty

What is your background?
I studied computer science and bioinformatics in my undergraduate studies, which I completed at the University of Toronto. I then worked at Shopify on the data engineering team, building internal tools that help with analytics and data privacy. It wasn’t until the summer of 2019 when I realized how far VR technology had come since the original Oculus kickstarter, and in early 2020 I started working on what’s now known as Zesty.

Where do you think the metaverse will go?
The metaverse describes an interconnected network of 2D and 3D content, with a shift occurring towards 3D as graphics technologies and XR hardware improve in the next few years. The key difference between the Internet of today and the metaverse of tomorrow is the concept of digital content ownership, mainly art and in-game assets or more broadly, IP.

A large portion of the metaverse will be created through user-generated content, and this is why it’s so important to have true digital ownership so that creators can monetize what they make properly. I see advertising as a temporary stop-gap solution to monetization in the metaverse, though it will be initially very helpful for content discovery.

There’s a lot of different things that need to be in place for the true metaverse to come about, and this includes (but is not limited to) better no-code tools for creators to create 3D content, more comfortable XR eyewear that allows for the user to see the “real” world, and more scalable/decentralized blockchains that have user-friendly wallet experiences.

If you want to learn more about Zesty, you can learn more here. Disclaimer: Zesty has been a sponsor of the Immersive Wire for May.

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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 weekly newsletter on the immersive industry.