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AMA Atlanta | 2040 Vision: How Mixed Reality Will Change Our Industry with Insights from Industry Experts

Breakdowns of Key Points by Speaker:

- Edie Kirkman, VP of Digital at GoToFoods

- Shawn Crossley, Digital Innovation Engineering Team Lead at Kimberly Clark  

- Gustavo Sanabria, CEO of Captivator

- Darryl Wright, XR and Spatial Computing Development Lead at Southern Company

- Adam Kornuth, VRARA Chapter President

Shawn Crossley:

Shawn Crossley provided a historical perspective on the evolution of spatial computing, emphasizing the rapid pace of technological advancements. He highlighted key milestones, such as the Kinect, Google Glass, and ARKit, and discussed the growing consumer demand for augmented shopping experiences.

Crossley emphasized the importance of quickly getting prototypes and proof-of-concept experiences into the hands of stakeholders to build excitement and secure buy-in. He also stressed the need to address challenges around privacy, security, and accessibility as new spatial computing devices and interfaces emerge.

Edie Kirkman:

Edie Kirkman spoke about the parallels between the emergence of spatial computing technologies and the rise of smartphones, noting that adoption rates for spatial computing are likely to accelerate even more rapidly. She highlighted the potential for spatial computing to enhance brand loyalty and personalize experiences for consumers.

Kirkman stressed the need for marketers to focus on the customer need rather than just the technology, and to create engaging and immersive experiences that blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds. She also emphasized the importance of making spatial computing applications accessible and fun for a wide range of users.

Gustavo Sanabria:

Gustavo Sanabria, the CEO of Captivator, discussed the importance of understanding the end-user's needs and guiding clients on how to bring better consumer and client experiences through technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

Sanabria emphasized the need for comfortable and lightweight devices with high-quality visual experiences, as well as the integration of natural language processing and gesture detection to enable seamless human-computer interaction. He also highlighted the role of spatial computing in various industries, not just for end consumers, but also in manufacturing, military, and other enterprise applications.

Darryl Wright:

Darryl Wright, who leads XR and spatial computing development at Southern Company, shared his perspective on the convergence of technologies that are driving the rapid advancements in spatial computing. He highlighted the importance of physical experiences and the role of emerging technologies like AI in contextualizing and anticipating user needs.

Wright also discussed the opportunities for creators to develop their own content and experiences within platforms like Fortnite and Roblox, leveraging technologies like blockchain and digital asset ownership. However, he emphasized the need to balance AI-powered tools with human creativity and the importance of open standards and cross-platform compatibility.

Adam Kormuth:

As the Atlanta Chapter President for the Global Virtual Reality Augmented Reality Association and co-chair of the Global Generative AI Committee, Adam Kormuth provided a broader industry perspective on the spatial computing landscape. He emphasized the unprecedented rate of technological change, noting that the next five to ten years will see more change than the previous 100 years.

Kormuth also discussed the importance of cross-device collaboration and the ability to scale solutions across different platforms and ecosystems, as well as the role of educational institutions and reskilling programs in developing the workforce for the spatial computing era.

Our Full Breakdown:

1. The Evolution of Spatial Computing

The panel discussion began with Shawn Crossley, who provided a historical overview of spatial computing technologies, tracing the development from immersive movie theaters in the 1950s to the recent announcement of the Apple Vision Pro in 2023. He emphasized the rapid advancements in this field, highlighting how technologies like the Kinect, Google Glass, and ARKit have paved the way for the current state of spatial computing.

2. The Changing Consumer Landscape

The panelists discussed the growing consumer demand for spatial computing experiences, with Shawn Crossley noting that 90% of the younger generation is seeking augmented shopping experiences and 70% of shoppers expect these capabilities. Edie Kirkman reinforced this, stating that spatial computing is no longer a fad, but a technology that consumers are actively seeking and expecting.

3. Opportunities and Challenges

The panel explored both the opportunities and challenges presented by spatial computing technologies. On the opportunity side, the panelists highlighted the potential for enhanced brand loyalty, personalized experiences, and the ability to reach a vast addressable market, estimated at over 620 billion users.

However, the panel also identified key challenges, including privacy, security, and accessibility concerns. Shawn Crossley emphasized the importance of addressing these issues as new spatial computing devices and interfaces emerge, drawing parallels to the initial concerns around Google Glass and the growing acceptance of mobile devices recording the environment.

4. Driving Adoption and Commercialization

The discussion then shifted to strategies for driving adoption and commercialization of spatial computing technologies. Shawn Crossley and Edie Kirkman stressed the importance of quickly getting prototypes and proof-of-concept experiences into the hands of stakeholders, as this helps to build excitement and secure buy-in.

Darryl Wright added that physically experiencing the technology, whether through headsets or desktop applications, is crucial for overcoming hesitation and fear of the unknown. The panelists also emphasized the need for cross-device collaboration and the ability to scale solutions across different platforms and ecosystems.

5. The Role of Creators and the New Economy

The panel explored the opportunities that spatial computing presents for creators and the new economy. Darryl Wright and Edie Kirkman highlighted the potential for creators to develop their own content and experiences within platforms like Fortnite and Roblox, leveraging technologies like blockchain, smart contracts, and digital asset ownership.

The panelists discussed the importance of striking the right balance between AI-powered tools and human creativity, as well as the need for open standards and cross-platform compatibility to enable a thriving creator ecosystem.


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