This year the AR/VR industry feels like it is finally progressing toward mainstream adoption. The AWE show, which takes place in Santa Clara, California at the end of May, celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. This year’s theme is “Enter the Next Dimension” and the organization has come a long way since it started as a small, community-driven, nonprofit whose core mission was to help advance the entire AR/VR industry as a whole.the latest developer and creator tools. The show will feature new tracks such as “Sales and Marketing” that will discuss the massive opportunity available this year in AR/VR advertising. Another dedicated track will bring together a select group of leading startups to pitch investors seeking to get involved in the massive opportunity presented by AR/VR. Most importantly, AWE will also continue to highlight the human aspects of the business and the use of technology for social impact, diversity & inclusion of special interest groups of all types.

To honor this 10th year of the show, we spoke with cofounder Ori Inbar and chair Tom Emrich and have identified 10 major themes that you can expect to find front and center at this year’s show:

1. Enabling AR/VR

Thanks to advancements in enabling areas of tech like computer vision, spatial audio gesture recognition and eye tracking, AR/VR experiences are becoming more natural and immersive.

2. 2019: Year of the Creator

A number of authoring tools aimed at equipping the next generation of creators with fast and easy tools for building AR/VR experiences without code are setting the stage for 2019 to be the Year of the Creator.  

3. Advertising and Marketing

AR proved itself last year by increasing sales for early adopters like Houzz; 2019 is shaping up to be another good year for mobile AR ads as well as VR marketing and consumer research campaigns.

4. Gaming, eSports, and Location Based Entertainment

 You need to experience a new reality to believe it, which is why immersive gaming, eSports and LBE signal the best way forward for AR/VR at a time when the average consumer cannot afford good immersive experiences.

5.Humanities, Privacy & Ethics

AR/VR are raising critical issues around access, privacy, consent and harassment. At the same time, we have the opportunity to make a conscious effort in including people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds in the future of computing.

6. Enterprise

AR/VR are now well-established tools providing ROI at a number of Fortune 500 companies, with larger and even full-production rollouts of AR/VR solutions expected to ramp up in the next few years.

7. Future of Mobility

AR/VR are helping to design, assemble, service and shop for the cars of tomorrow, and may very well serve as the primary form of in-vehicle entertainment when we no longer need to pay attention to the road.

8. AR Cloud

The race to build an index of the real world is on, with companies working to align digital content with the physical environment on a global scale in order to enable next-level augmented reality.

9. WebXR 

Web-based AR/VR content will impact immersive tech adoption and overall use by exposing the masses to augmented and virtual reality without requiring an app download.

10. 5G 

The next-generation of AR/VR applications are going to require greater bandwidth and lower latency than 4G can deliver; hence why the future of immersive tech depends upon the rollout of 5G.

Tickets for the upcoming AWE show are currently available – to learn more visit

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is an editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.