AWE 2016 – Inception in Real Life

What a way to start June in the year 2016…

…then participating that was held in Santa Clara, California on 1.6.2016 – 2.6.2016

In short AWE is the largest expo in the world for Augmented- and Virtual reality and wearable technologies.

These two days were packed with networking, new technology, keynotes and enthusiastic people. This was one of the best expo I have ever visited, as the atmosphere was full of great energy, and the Santa Clara Convention Center presented awesome technology that will revolutionise our lives.

1.6.2016 – Day One

As you would expect, day one was busy from the beginning and I was full of energy and waiting to meet new exciting people in our partner VTTs stand.


I was in AWE to promote mFabriks Augmented Reality product called the SelfieWall which is based on VTT technology and research.

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Me(mFabrik) and Alain Boyer(VTT) in front of our SelfieWall taking a selfie. So it’s a #SelfieInception

Concept is very simple –> We take any picture –> Do some magic with Unity and photo manipulation –> Hook up a computer and Microsoft Kinect camera to a screen –> And people can move around in real life and our software takes that person inside the picture. Persons can move around for example behind a bus stop of step inside of it and then we take a picture that you can share in the social media. You can check out some of pictures that were taken during the expo from our AWE SelfieWall web site.


Make technology approachable

I think one of the cool things about the SelfieWall is that you don’t need, as a consumer, to download any app or have wearable technology to experience this. I believe it’s going to take a while for the general public to get adjusted to VR/AR and that’s why low threshold services are vital.


Picture taken with SelfieWall during the event.


Zoltan Istvan

One of the most inspirational speeches I’ve ever witnessed was from the presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan. You don’t hear a lot of people talking about digital immortality, designer babies, augmented super humans and robots in the elections. Somehow Mr Istvan made all these topics just sound normal and not science fiction. And you have to ask the question that why should these be something out of the ordinary? These technologies are mostly already there and we are at some level implementing these, so I believe there should be more discussion about these topics. I’ll post and Zoltan Istvan dedicated post later on.

Check out Zoltan Istvans keynote from youtube:

Virtual or Augmented Reality – Killer app and which industry will make the difference?

Seeing all of the tech that is available for multiple branches of industry it truly feels this is the year when VR/AR will start coming into our lives. I believe that two branches of entertainment will have a big impact on how we perceive and start using Augmented/Virtual reality technologies: Gaming (PS4 VR, Microsoft Hololens, Oculus Rift) and then adult industry (Yes, I mean porn).

All gamers unite

Gaming community has been waiting for a very long time for a really breathtaking virtual reality experience. This year Sony will launch their VR goggles to enable PS4 users experience virtual reality in games. I have a strong feeling that this will be a success, but there is a risk that if you need to upgrade your PS4 for the VR –> It’s going to prolong people from using the tech.

Everyone is talking about the coming of VR/AR and the technology is there, but we need to find and connect the customers with the technologies. I found out 10-15 new ways to use our SelfieWall, so my advice is for all tech companies to talk with customers and find solutions where everyone wins.

Adults only

Adult industry will also be a big driver for VR/AR and I believe everyone has enough imagination to understand why! Way we experience adult industry will change drastically, as instead of watching a video, you can put on VR-goggles and fool your brain to think you are there actually.

This might bring interesting moral and ethical questions for couples –> Are you cheating if you experience VR sex without touching another person? Time will tell, but be ready for some very interesting stuff.

Mashable made a cool article about where VR porn is already, so check it out here

2.6.2016 – DAY TWO

Day two in Santa Clara started out a bit more quiet in the morning compared to the first day, but I guess it’s quite normal. Things heated up quite fast and soon the Santa Clara convention center was full of people.

I found it very interesting how broadly there were people from all different branches of industry: Museums, tech companies, restaurants, real estate, expo and etc. All having the same goal of finding new VR/AR killer app that they can use to enhance their business.

And this is the keypoint of it all:

“Connecting the awesome technology and customers to bring added value for them and their customers. “


Beam me up Scotty

So what happens if you really want to be in the expo, but couldn’t attend physically? Well a company called Event Presence will beam you there with one these cool robots you can see in the picture below.

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You don’t need to fly to be present it seems? These cool robots use “beaming” tech to enable people to be present in expos. Company is called Event Presence

View story at

Wren Handman wrote a great article about his experience with beaming and you can read it here.

Mulder wasn’t there, but Skully was

If I needed to pick one cool tech up from the conference it would be SKULLY AR-1. No it’s not a virtual Dana Scully, but a motorcycle helmet that has AR embedded in the helmet. I mean how cool is that, you have have working Heads Up Display, 180 degree blindspot camera, speed meter and GPS. That’s a way to connect your customer, hardware and augmented reality into a killer app.



It was a super fun and exciting two days at AWE and hopefully next year will do it again. I think the expo captures the essence of an expo as everyone wins.

  • Tech companies have a great venue to present their new cool stuff and connect to customers
  • Customers are looking and finding what’s out there and how they can connect it to their business
  • Consumers will then eventually win from the new cooperation that are formed between industries and tech companies
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Santa Clara Convention Center

So thanks everyone in the AWE production team for a truly great experience and forgive me for not including everyone that attended in this post. Two days were fully packed by awesome encounters and experiences that it would make this blog post longer then the Lord of the rings extended versions.

Juha Petteri Niemi, signing out



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