PR Newswire
Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 3:40pm UTC


PR Newswire

To Celebrate its 15th Anniversary, AWE will Be Honoring 101 XR Pioneers and Welcoming Visitors to an XR History Museum Featuring Over 80 Vintage AR and VR devices

LONG BEACH, Calif., April 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The future of XR depends on its past. 

AWE, the longest running and largest event focused on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (XR), celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, the theme for AWE USA 2024 in Long Beach, CA will be: "Learn from XR's Past to Shape the Future."

Highlights for this year will include:

  • A XR History Museum - The museum will feature over 80 vintage AR and VR devices from the past 50 years (on loan from industry pioneers), including an experience simulating Ivan Sutherland's first Head Mounted Display (HMD) from 1968.
  • Introducing the AWE XR Hall of Fame - AWE is proud to announce the inauguration of the XR Hall of Fame—a new platform dedicated to honoring the pioneers whose groundbreaking contributions have shaped and propelled the XR industry forward (since 1968 to date). Today AWE unveils the list of the first 101 pioneers to be inducted to the XR Hall of Fame and during the event in June all pioneers in attendance will be celebrated on stage during the Auggie Awards ceremony.
  • A Series of XR History Sessions - 14 agenda tracks will include sessions by pioneers about the history of XR as it pertains to each topic.

The XR History Museum will feature over 80 vintage AR and VR prototypes and devices from the past 50 years (on loan from pioneers) such as the 1990 Xybernaut, the 1992 Virtuality Viset 1 (one of the first commercial VR headsets), and including immersive experiences of Ivan Sutherland's first Head Mounted Display from 1968, and Morton Heilig's Sensorama - the first multisensory experience.

The XR Hall of Fame list was created by the AWE team with support from many of the pioneers on the list. The criteria for being included on the list is: undisputed, monumental contribution to the advancement of the AR and VR industry, with highest moral standards, from a research perspective in both hardware and software, entrepreneurship, creative & artistic, design and user experience, development of use cases and driving adoption in real world cases, advocacy.

Some of the 101 luminaries and legends on the list include:

-       John Carmack, Original Oculus VR CTO
-       Char Davies, Pioneered new forms of visual imagery and interaction
-       Tom Furness, widely known as "The Grandfather of VR"
-       Diane Gromala, Innovator in VR For treating chronic pain
-       Palmer Luckey - founder of Oculus and kickstarter of the modern VR era
-       Steve Mann, AR glasses pioneer and known as the "Father of Wearable Computing"
-       Jacquelyn (Jacki) Morie, VR innovator blending art, science, and education
-       Gabe Newell, Valve CEO and Founder
-       Jannick Rolland, Optical see-through HMD pioneer
-       Lanny Smoot, Disney imagineer and creator of the HoloTile floor
-       Neal Stephenson, iconic author and inventor of the term "Metaverse"
-       Ivan Sutherland, developed the first head mounted display
-       Tim Sweeney, Epic Games CEO and founder, and creator of Fortnite
-       Valerie Thomas, inventor of NASA's illusion transmitter for 3D Holography

See the full list here:

"It is only fitting that with our Celebration of the 15th anniversary of AWE, we take this opportunity to look back at the more than 50 years of innovation that led to this moment," explained Ori Inbar, co-founder of AWE. "We know there are many pioneers missing from the list yet; many that should be recognized and celebrated and even more that are making history every day. I am pleased to share that the XR Hall of Fame will continue to grow each year, with new groups of pioneers being inducted and celebrated at our annual award ceremony. In addition, we are incredibly excited about the world premiere of the XR History Museum, which literally acts as a time machine for every visitor to AWE. Don't miss it!"

AWE USA promises to be a celebration of innovation, collaboration, and the remarkable achievements of these pioneers. The celebration of their induction into the XR Hall of Fame will resonate throughout the three days of the event and beyond.

For the virtual ribbon cutting planned for today, April 24th, 2024 at noon EST, two distinguished members of the newly inaugurated XR Hall of Fame will share inception stories, and engage in powerful discussions about the lessons learned from the past and strategies to shape the future.

Visit this link to join the live session. 

To nominate an individual for the AWE XR Hall of Fame, please visit this page.

Don't Miss AWE USA 2024

Earlier this month, AWE unveiled its initial agenda for AWE USA 2024, which this year includes over 500 expert speakers presenting across 15 conference tracks covering the breadth of the AR and VR industry. Expect nothing less than the biggest names and the most groundbreaking sessions yet. Check out this year's speakers and conference talks.

Leading brands and Fortune 500 companies sharing real-world use-cases and insights from the AWE stage include: ExxonMobil, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Target, Walmart, The Hershey Company, Nestle Purina, Mondelēz International, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Rolls-Royce, and many, many more!

AWE's 15 packed agenda tracks will cover the breadth of the global AR and VR industry, across: Enterprise; Collaboration, Training & Education; Gaming, Entertainment & Media; Start-ups & Investors; Creator; Developer; Web3; XR Policy; Retail & Marketing; XR Enablement; Healthcare & Wellness; AI; and the Expo Stage.

Join more than 6,500 XR professionals, over 500 AR and VR industry speakers, and 300+ global exhibitors at this year's leading immersive event.

Early Bird tickets are now available, with discounts up to $500 on a 3-day pass, through May 9th for AWE USA 2024. To register for the conference, go here.  Attendees can also attend the AWE Vision Workshop, a full day workshop for Apple Vision Pro, taking place on June 17th, the day before AWE kicks off - for an additional cost of $99.

About AWE:

AWE (Augmented World Expo) is the world's leading AR+VR conference and expo with events in the USA, Asia and Europe. AWE events consistently bring together a mix of CEOs, CTOs, designers, developers, creative agencies, futurists, analysts, investors and top press in a unique opportunity to learn, inspire, partner and experience firsthand one of the most exciting industries of our times.

AWE USA 2024 marks the 15th anniversary of the "must attend" global XR industry event; now in our new home in Long Beach, California.

The 3-day AR VR conference is packed with sessions from 500+ top speakers across 15 tracks; covering tech and applications in many verticals. The Expo Hall features over 350 exhibitors offering hands-on experience with the latest spatial computing technologies.

Pre-conference workshops, community meetups, and networking opportunities give guests numerous ways to connect, learn, and grow their XR businesses at AWE USA.

Media Contact: Ethan Rasiel, 

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SOURCE AWE (Augmented World Expo)