Insights From IMEX & AWE
The Allseated team had a very busy week recently as we attended IMEX in Las Vegas while some of us also attended AWE in Silicon Valley!
Ronen Tsamir, Allseated’s VP of R&D, gained a ton of insight during his experiences at both conferences and is here to share his thoughts with us today.
We recently wrapped up a crazy, amazing week where I went from the IMEX conference in Las Vegas to the AWE conference in Silicon Valley.
At IMEX, we showcased the amazing capabilities we have developed at Allseated – demonstrating the connection between people who are at a conference in-person, and those who attended the conference using their PC, mobile, or virtual reality.
In fact, if we utilize the technology we have developed at Allseated to create events and content in virtual venues, and combine it with events held in those same venues in the real world, then we get very close to the Metaverse vision.
Unfortunately, AWE, the annual XR and 3D conference, took place at the same time as IMEX.
So, after a lot of deliberation, flight, and hotel changes, I left the amazing group of people at the Allseated booth and traveled to AWE.
AWE gave me the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world who speak my language – and no, I don’t mean Hebrew. I mean the language of polygons, vertexes, shaders, matrices, and performance. People who aspire to make higher-quality 3D, break the boundaries of the GPU, are curious about the meaning of the Metaverse, and discuss what XR is really all about.
I left the conference with two main insights:
The first is that many countries are investing in this. We know about the big companies. But at these events, for the first time, I heard about countries investing in the metaverse. There were fascinating panels about Canada developing an ecosystem of XR companies in Vancouver, and about China pushing Metaverse development as well.
My second insight was a central topic at the conferences – hardware is the name of the game. It is the biggest step to the next revolution – the metaverse revolution. About half of the exhibitions at the conferences were hardware startups, with everyone trying to offer the most comfortable and accessible devices. It’s not only Meta (formerly Facebook) that is becoming more and more of a hardware company. Oculus has begun to develop new chips for the Metaverse as well.
Seeing the level of hardware we were introduced to at the conference, it became clear that we could be about three years away from VR or AR being commercial.
Now for a bit of technology…
There is big progress in AR. Unfortunately, as an Android evangelist, or rather, having difficulty with Apple’s limited environment, I must say the significant progress is in the iPhone 13.
The ability to create a rough mesh that covers the entire space is big progress. This means the phone camera has a 3D understanding of the environment, allowing for amazing developments that interact with the environment around us.
I’ll be fair and say that HoloLens 2 also has such capabilities, but for me, until they will expand the little rectangle where the AR is shown, they don’t really have it. There was also little consolation in the knowledge that soon Android’s ARCore is expected to have the same capabilities.
I have seen impressive improvements in the ability to detect body and face kinematics through a simple iPad camera (yet again, Apple is ahead of everyone) and the ability to dress the kinematics on a virtual avatar. This topic especially interests me, since at Allseated we put a lot of effort into connecting people in a real conference with those in a virtual conference. This capability will allow us to transfer human movements in real conferences to an avatar in the metaverse, or any other virtual conference.
Before I completely exhaust you, the last thing that I was excited about – as someone who lives and breathes 3D on the WEB – is the significant improvements of WebXR that now allow you to develop XR as a web application that does not fall far from native apps.
Also, I was surprised by the fast adoption of 3D rendering on the cloud and the ability to stream it in the browsers on any device via video tag. This technology was inaccessible until recently and just broke out in recent months when Epic made it very easy to use through its Unreal engine.
In summary, there’s a lot of development in 3D and XR, but it will take a few more good years until these things become available for commercial use – and most of us have daily access to XR devices already.
In the meantime, I’m on it…