A Look at Everything We Saw at AWE 2023

The Augmented World Expo 2023 was a week-long event that allowed developers an insight into what is happening in the VR and AR industry. Guests also got the chance to check out the latest tech while developers would showcase their upcoming projects. The event took place during the week of May 31st until June 2nd at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

8Bit/Digi was present to cover the event and to gain some insight from professionals in the industry. After a week of learning from industry experts and meeting new people, these are the highlights of our time at the Augmented World Expo 2023.

The Expo Floor

The expo floor had a good number of developers who wanted to share their work. Each booth allowed guests to learn about the company and sample the projects they are working on. Here are some of the booths and setups that got my attention during the week.

When entering the expo floor, the first company that would get your attention would be Xreal. Following a successful showcase at GDC 2023 and a rebranding, they were at AWE 2023 in full force. They were present to showcase their line of consumer focused AR glasses that act as a virtual TV screen for the user. Guests got to demo their many products while speaking to the team.

Warpin Reality was showcasing some of the AR projects they have worked on with major retailers. Most notable was a demo of a learning experience they developed in a partnership with IKEA Another was an AR project that allows consumers to make their own custom shirts at H&M. 

Stretch Reality Glove is the answer to making VR more immersive. These are gloves that allow users to navigate the world of VR, allowing for a more immersive experience. They are wireless and compatible with any PC VR. They are currently available for pre-order with a planned August 2023 launch. 

Nevermet is a dating app that helps people find love in the world of VR. It works like every other dating app but it’s more aimed at connecting people in the Metaverse. Also, they use a VR avatar as their profile picture. When two people connect, they can arrange to go on dates in the Metaverse.

Foundry is an open-source template to build a VR social experience. The framework is developed using Unity and it allows developers to make a virtual meeting room based on their needs. They made their debut at M.I.T. REALITY Havk back in January. Since then they have been actively working with other companies and brands. 

The Playground

Next to the expo floor was the Playground, a special hall dedicated to the entertainment value of virtual reality. This is where attendees come to play the latest games or explore some of the more fun aspects of VR and AR.

STYLY is an app that allows for a mixed-reality experience based on the user’s location. Event organizers can use the system as a means to enhance their events by utilizing the world around them. It’s free to use for the end user while also offering no code solution for devs using the system. During the demo session, I was shown how it can be used during an event hosted in the Shibuya Ward of Tokyo.

The Auggie Awards

The 14th annual Auggie Awards was an opportunity for attendees and the industry to honor the best accomplishments in the advancement of AR and VR. The award ceremony was hosted Ori Inbar, the co-founder of AWE and a leader in the advancement of VR technology.

  • Best Art or Film – Delta Reality for The Museum of Digital Life
  • Best Campaign – Zappar for Countdown: Bricks Farm
  • Best AR/VR Collaboration Tool – Pfizer
  • Best Consumer App – Central Library of Düsseldorf App
  • Best Creator & Authoring Tool – Lens Studio 
  • Best Developer Tool – echo3D
  • Best Enterprise Solution – Ajna Lense by Dimension NXG
  • Best Game or Toy – Among Us VR
  • Best Headworn Device – HTC VIVE XR Elite
  • Best in Healthcare & Wellness Solution – NextMED by ARSOFT
  • Best in Location Based Entertainment – Lego The Magical Forest 
  • Best Indie Creator(s) – Big Rock Creative
  • Best Interaction Product – Trixel 3 by TriLite 
  • Best Snapdragon Spaces App – Future of Training by Verizon
  • Best Societal Impact – Thykier
  • Best use of AI – SYNTH3D by Maxar Technologies


Augmented World Expo 2023 was not just about the consumer side of the industry but also the industrial aspect. Specifically, developers that are geared towards using VR to provide better training for their machines or vehicles.

Quantum 3D is a flight simulator developed to train pilots on how to operate an aircraft. Working with Lockheed Martin, they have created a mixed-reality simulation that recreates how to operate an aircraft. During the demo session, I got to pilot a Cessna 172-like aircraft. As with most flight sims, it only confirmed how great I am at flying but terrible at landing. 

ForgeFX develops VR simulations that allow companies to train employees on how to operate heavy machinery. This allows companies to train new people without the risks involved. During the event, I got to experience the simulation for operating and using a boom lift. 

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go was still a major talking point while guests would also take a break and play the game. Since Niantic was a major sponsor, several additional PokeStops were set up during AWE 2023. The convention center itself is a hot spot for the game. While no official event was organized, there would be times when guests would participate in a raid. Others would take a break and catch any Pokemon within their area (especially near the Niantic lounge).  

This article is part of our coverage of the Augmented World Expo 2023. If you attended the event, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: AWE provided 8Bit/Digi with press passes for the event.

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the gamer community of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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