Was the AR Summit 2013 worth going to?

POSTED BY   James Dearsley
21st June 2013

It is often discussed about whether this is the year of Augmented Reality and whether it will this year break into the mainstream. The over AR summit 2013whelming answer amongst the gatherers yesterday was yes. However, this was an audience with an interest in the topic so perhaps you would expect that. So, with it being such a bias audience, was it a worthwhile summit to attend; absolutely.

The ideas, case studies and examples given all suggest a maturity to the technology. It is becoming a very accepted technology for the big brands to work with and use – there were case study examples from Audi, Asda and The Telegraph Group.

Before I give you a tweet by tweet breakdown of the day I thought I would tell you the award winners and the key terms I took from the day:

Award Winners: 

  1. Best AR Hardware Innovation 2013 awarded to Vuzix for their M100 Smart Glass
  2. Best AR Practical Case Study 2013 awarded to Zappar for their work with Asda
  3. Best AR Technology Platform 2013 awarded to Metaio with Qualcomm as runners up
  4. Best AR Developer 2013 awarded to Fuzzy Logic with Apache as runners up
  5. Most Innovative use of AR 2013 awarded to Apache and Daqri as runners up
  6. The AR Awards Champion of 2013 also went to Apache with Vuzix as runners up

There were some buzz words that I picked up on as well which seemed a constant throughout discussions. Here are the ones that seemed very apparent:

  • Big Data – there is no escaping it but there could be great opportunities here
  • Cloud – an obvious fit for AR?
  • Battery Power – this seems to be the largest issue at the moment to the roll out of AR
  • Augmented Revenue – a great phrase which I am sure we will see time and time again

Quote of the day has to be from Geoff McCormick from The Alloy with this little beauty:

Anyway, let me now give you a complete overview of the discussions so that you can see for yourself how it all happened. Chaired by Ken Blakeslee of Web Mobility Ventures, there were a host of seminars and panel discussions covering a variety of topics. Below is an overview of the topics and some of the tweets yesterday with key points:   What does the latest research tell us about how AR is growing and how it is affecting peoples lives – led by Aapo Markkanen (@ABI_Cloud): 

Then there was a panel discussion about what are the technologies pushing the AR industry development forward. This was chaired by Alex Pell – journalist and founder of Dashboard Media. The panelists included:

  • Michael Gervautz – Director of Business Development at Qualcomm
  • Nizar Romdan – Director of Ecosystem at ARM
  • Jessica Butcher – Co-founder and CMO of Blippar (@jessbutcher)
  • Stuart Culpit – Co-founder and Director at Inition (@inition)



It was then time to have some showreel discussions – which I felt was a very useful part of the day – showing real life examples of how some companies are using elements of AR to really work with their entire marketing offering. A fascinating insight and a real sea change to how AR has been used previously. Here are some examples started by Connell Gauld, the Platform Director at Zappar (@ZapparApp) discussing their work with Asda:

So we all broke for lunch and gathered back in to hear about “enabling next generation mobile augmented reality” with the presentation headed up by Nizar Romdan of ARM – if I am honest, 90% of Nizar’s presentation went completely over my head – it was particularly technological – unsurprisingly I suppose given ARM’s involvement. However, what was important was this discussion again about Battery Power. They are working hard to decrease the power needed to run AR so that it is easier for the end user to interact. A key point throughout the day I felt.

Moving on we then went into a panel discussion about using AR in the educational space. A fascinating if somewhat frustrating (will become clear) insight into the future generations using AR – I also found this one of the most interesting insights into the future – some really good case studies. The panelists were:

  • Rene Bastijans from Pearson who are developing LangAR (an interesting app for language translation)
  • Anthony Harris from Aurasma who seem to be generating a bit of a niche in the Educational space
  • Farzana Latif from City University, London (@farzanalatif)
  • Laura Skilton, Project Manager at SCARLET (@team_scarlet)

Despite the Aurasma presentation going on far too long there was an interesting take they have in the education environment:


There then led two presentations covering wearable Smartglasses. The first a panel led discussion Chaired by Ken Blackeslee with the following participants:

  • Geoff McCormick, Director of The Alloy (@geoffmccormick)
  • Paul Travers, CEO Vuzix (@Vuzix or @Vuzixeurope)
  • Will Powell, Head of Innovation at Keytree led by market leaders @Vuzix and then followed by Will Powell (@willpowelluk)

The second presentation was one carried out exclusively by Will Powell which was very insightful about eyewear specifically. Here are some of the memorable tweets from these discussions and they were particularly enjoyable; especially from @geoffmccormick!


And there you have it….a tweet by tweet account of the AR Summit 2013. It was a very interesting day and I think everyone took something from the presentations. If nothing else Augmented Revenue still sticks in my head as well as the need to review the processing power of these AR applications or the long wanted request for improved power packs.

The AR Summit will no doubt be a lot busier next year as uses for the technology get ever more publicised and useful to the general public. I look forward to seeing the changes……

Was the AR Summit 2013 worth going to?

James Dearsley

James Dearsley is the Founder and MD of TDMB. In addition to his work with us, he is also a renowned expert in PropTech, and was recently voted the most influential person in PropTech. An impassioned speaker and advocate of technology, particularly in the Property industry, his other interests include beekeeping, real ale, green trousers, and (currently) growing a beard. You can contact James directly via Twitter or LinkedIn, or tweet the TDMB team directly.

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