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Unity is invested in Augmented Reality. More than 91% of Hololens applications and 64% of mobile AR apps are made with Unity. With all the hype around the medium, we wanted to share some of our takeaways from the Augmented World Expo last week.

At the heart of Silicon Valley, AWE USA attracts thousands of industry leaders interested in leveraging immersive technologies across plenitude of affordances. The conference this year was a great place to glance into the future of consumer AR and get familiarized with the use of smart glasses for enterprise productivity.

Tony Parisi, Head of AR / VR Strategy at Unity took the main stage to talk about how immersive hardware is bringing 3D graphics to the masses in ways “not even us 3D dreamers could have ever dreamt about a decade before.”

With the adoption of immersive computing at scale, real time 3D graphics will become the way we interact with the world. It’s one reason why Unity developers are ahead of the curve in creating for this promising future!

“Investments made now in immersive computing — in learning the tools of the trade like Unity, in understanding immersive design, in adding meaningful layers to the real world, in short, in building interfaces for people — will pay off many times over in the future. Because that future is 3D.”

Tony Parisi
Head of VR/AR Strategy at Unity Technologies

AWE evidenced our commitment to immersive computing and reaffirmed the reasons why Unity will continue to invest heavily in XR Development. Here are some of our main takeaways:

  • Unity today is the foundational content creation engine for the enterprise. Everyone we met is excited for the Unity community to develop enterprise applications and experiences. As XR converge with other computing stacks like IoT and AI, demand for Unity developers will continue to increase exponentially. From service providers to hardware vendors, everyone is looking for qualified Unity talent.
  • Consumer AR is about impact. As AR goes beyond enterprise applications and fuses with other technologies, it will fundamentally change the way we interact with the world, unlocking creativity and enhancing human capabilities beyond imagination.
  • Developers are solving hardware limitations. No doubt there were a LOT of incremental gains to hardware capabilities announced at AWE but we have yet to reach an inflection point to enable mass adoption. While we wait for this to happen, developers today are tackling hardware limitations through  pragmatic product engineering. For example, how Vuforia and Tango have been pushing the boundaries with Vuforia’s new 3D Model Target recognition feature and Tango’s environmental lighting and early experiments with Occlusion.

  • Mobile computing is a key enabling technology for Consumer AR. The next generation of handheld devices will be VERY exciting. With Tango ready devices flooding the market, Apple’s ARKit and Augmented Reality platforms like Vuforia, mass adoption of Consumer AR is almost here.
  • The killer AR App may revolve around kids or telepresence (social). Like Pokemon Go, Vuforia’s Project Chalk (which allows you to make spatial annotations in space without the use of markers), is a great example of AR consumer use cases. Also, ask a kid today and they will not understand how adults could live without Google – it’s the dark ages. The kids of tomorrow will feel the same way about telepresence and immersive computing.

AR will essentially change the way we interact with the world and Unity developers are an integral part of this future. There are so many interesting opportunities for our community that we can’t help but get excited about the future and doubling down on our commitment.

It’s time to start using the real world as your canvas! Here are a few things you can do today:

  1. Create a profile on Unity Connect, Unity’s dedicated professional network and talent marketplace. You can showcase your work with a free portfolio if you’re looking to get discovered. If you are looking to build your team or need help on your project, you can find and connect with experts who have the skills you need to bring your vision to life.
  2. Start testing in the real world. Unity supports augmented reality development for multiple platforms. You can also learn more about these platforms by following these links:
  3. Download Vuforia’s AR Starter Kit which includes sample scenes and frameworks to help you get up to speed fast. Essentially Vuforia empowers Unity developers to place their projects in real-world environments on major handheld and headworn devices.

Finally, here is a snapshot and video links to some of our main sessions at AWE USA 2017::

Climbing the Slope of Enlightenment

Tony Parisi joins AR pioneers Jay Wright, President of Vuforia and Brian Blau, VP of Research at Gartner to discuss what opportunities and challenges we face as AR continues to grow.

Artificial Intelligence in AR

Nicolas Meleau, Director of AI Research at Unity also talked about how recent achievements in Machine Learning and Autonomous Robotics open the road to a bright future for interactive media and the efforts Unity is undertaking to democratize these technologies.

Tools and Tech Shaping Immersive Content Creation

Diana Ford, Global Academia and Industrial Research Lead, joined thought leaders to discuss the challenges with the current development pipelines used for interactive media creation.

Face the Future: Computing in an Augmented World

Tony Parisi envisions the future of user interface driven by the power of realtime 3D graphics with the world as our canvas and people at the center. Check out his keynote talk transcript here.