27 Jul 2023 | Sam Sprigg
Hot Topics To Watch Out For At AWE EU 2023
AWE EU 2023

The augmented and virtual reality industry has been evolving rapidly, shaping the way we interact with technology and experience the world around us. And now with Apple entering the XR space with its Vision Pro headset, the changes that these technologies are going to have on the way we conduct business and live our lives are only going to become more noticeable.

As the launch of the Vision Pro approaches us, it is essential for businesses, developers, creators, and investors to learn about all of the benefits that XR technology has to offer. The good news is, there will be no better place to discover the world of XR than at AWE EU this October.

This year AWE EU will be taking place in Vienna, Austria, and will once again offer attendees the chance to explore the world of spatial computing and discover some of the most intriguing and cutting-edge topics, use cases, live demos, and technological innovations that the European augmented and virtual reality industry has to offer.

Some of the exciting topics that will be covered at this year’s leading XR industry gathering on the European continent will include:

1. Advancements in Mobile Augmented Reality

Mobile AR has emerged as a game-changer, revolutionizing the way we engage with digital content in the real world. At AWE EU, speakers will discuss the latest breakthroughs in mobile AR technology. One distinguished speaker in this area is Daniel Wagner, Director of Spectacles at Snap, who has pioneered research in AR on mobile phones. Wagner is the author of over 35 peer reviewed papers published at international conferences and journals, and has been granted 27 US patents. His work on real-time tracking and mapping systems has laid the foundation for widespread adoption of AR on handheld devices.


2. Immersive Media Initiatives at Film Festivals

In recent years, film festivals have embraced immersive media, with many now including segments dedicated entirely to introducing audiences to captivating virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences. At AWE EU, Liz Rosenthal, Curator & Executive Producer at Venice International Film Festival will shed light on the burgeoning immersive media initiatives in the festival circuit. With her expertise in Venice Immersive, she has established XR as a new artistic form and pushed the boundaries of immersive media exhibitions. Attendees at AWE EU will gain valuable insights into how film festivals are incorporating AR/VR experiences into their official selections, promoting an exciting future for immersive storytelling.

3. XR’s Use Across the AEC sector

AR has transformed the way architects, designers and others working in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry visualize and communicate their creations. Sahar Fikouhi, the Founder of ARki App, has been a trailblazer in this domain. Her award-winning app, ARki, empowers architects and 3D designers to create awe-inspiring augmented reality visualizations on an architectural scale. At AWE EU, Fikouhi will demonstrate how ARki fosters seamless communication between design teams and stakeholders. Attendees will discover how this technology has revolutionized architectural visualization and opened new possibilities in the world of spatial design.

4. Pushing Boundaries in Spatial Computing and XR Research

Spatial computing and XR research have significantly impacted the AR/VR industry. Alina Kadlubsky, Managing Director of Open AR Cloud Europe, is at the forefront of pushing these boundaries. This October in Vienna, she will share her expertise in human-centered computing and her contributions to open and interoperable AR experiences. Kadlubsky set up and has been leading the EU activities of Open AR Cloud Europe gUG as managing director through EU-funded research projects like NGI Atlantic and the recently Horizon Europe-funded project XR4Human. Her insights into spatial computing advancements will inspire attendees to explore new frontiers in immersive technologies and experiences.


5. Venture Capital, Accelerators and Incubators, and the XR Start-up Ecosystem

The AR/VR industry has seen a surge in venture capital investment, supporting the growth of innovative start-ups. Christopher Obereder, CEO of Start-up-Chris Ventures, is a prominent figure in the start-up space. As a serial entrepreneur and influential angel investor, Obereder’s insights into XR venture capital will be invaluable to aspiring entrepreneurs and investors attending. Attendees will be able to learn from his experiences in co-founding successful start-ups and investing in groundbreaking projects. So whether you’re an aspiring investor looking for a comprehensive understanding of the XR start-up landscape, or start-up looking to raise funds, make sure you don’t miss Obereder at AWE EU this year, where he will provide insights into the world of a successful venture capitalist.

As for XR accelerators and incubators, these play an absolutely critical role in nurturing XR talent and innovation. Jan Pflüger, Founder of AdvisXR, has been actively involved in supporting start-ups and fostering network activities in the XR industry. At AWE EU, Pflüger will share his expertise in advising and guiding companies on their XR journey. Attendees will be able to learn from his insights into XR accelerators and incubators, and discover how to leverage these platforms for accelerating their own XR projects.


6. The Intersection of AI, Web3 and XR


The convergence of AI, Web3, and XR promises a transformative shift in our digital experiences. As AI advances and integrates with the decentralized world of Web3, the possibilities for XR applications expand exponentially. The fusion of these three technologies will enable more personalized, interactive, and data-driven XR experiences that can adapt to users in real-time. From e-commerce to healthcare, the intersection of AI, Web3 and XR technologies will benefit a range of industries.


In the realm of healthcare, XR technology is becoming commonplace, with many leading healthcare organizations and institutions already taking advantage of the power that spatial computing offers. Immersive experiences have the potential to further revolutionize patient outcomes, and Angel Brown, Group Director Experience Strategy at Digitas Health, is at the forefront of this transformative movement. Whether it’s a behavioral change programme using AI to inspire consumers to improve their health, or immersive tech applications for physicians, Brown is at the forefront of using the latest technologies to discover what is next in this space.

7. Promoting Diversity in Immersive Technology

Diversity and inclusivity are crucial in shaping the future of immersive technology, and in order to further advance the XR industry, the creation of egalitarian, respectful, and safe spaces for knowledge exchange is absolutely vital. Gabriella Chihan Stanley, Co-founder and CCO of vrisch and founder of XRVienna, is dedicated to fostering an inclusive XR community, and at AWE EU, she will highlight her work in promoting meaningful dialogues among XR creators from diverse backgrounds.

8. AR/VR in the Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry has witnessed a paradigm shift with the advent of augmented and virtual reality as a new medium for immersive entertainment. Lee Vermeulen, CEO of Alientrap Games, has been a leading force in shaping immersive entertainment experiences through his game studio's creations. At AWE EU, Vermeulen’s experience in AR/AI experimentation and game development will provide audiences with a deeper insight into how immersive technologies are revolutionizing the entertainment landscape and creating engaging experiences for audiences worldwide.


9. Exploring Boundaries in XR Art

XR art has pushed the boundaries of creativity and expression, with interactive AR experiences and exhibitions pushing the medium forward in ways never seen before. At AWE EU, Christine Perey, an industry analyst and leader in immersive creative media, will shed light on her work in promoting open AR content and experiences. 

Also at the event will be Tamiko Thiel, an acclaimed XR artist, who will present her critically engaging media artworks that explore place, space, and cultural identity. Attendees will be able to discover how XR art challenges conventional boundaries and perspectives, and how it fosters meaningful connections between technology and humanity through immersive experiences that provoke thought and reflection.

As AWE EU approaches, attendees can look forward to seeing speakers and thought leaders from across the XR industry diving deep into these topics, as well as others including AR/VR solutions for the enterprise, retail and e-commerce, Web3, AI, 5G, avatars, virtual beings, and dozens more. With 11 expertly curated agenda tracks, there will be something for everyone at this year’s premier European AR and VR community gathering and event.

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