If you haven’t heard of the European Auggie Awards, now is as good time as ever to get introduced to the (second) most important VR and AR event in the world, where budding augmented reality startups and established industry players are unveiling how far they’ve come in AR app development. The AWE EU event takes only the second-place contender worldwide since the first place is reserved for the U.S. counterpart  – the annual event called AWE US, where companies occupying the U.S. VR and AR apps market compete for the 8-year-old prize that is slowly starting to collect prestige kudos.

Although the European participants for 2017 can’t measure up to the scope of the U.S. equivalent, the second year-in-a-row conference for AR apps held at the end of October in Munich, Germany, still included over 90 exhibitors, 100 speakers and 1500 attendees. The “superpowers” of the future-oriented AR apps were directed at driving economic growth and creating a sustainable world, as well as to contributing to the recent trends in AR app development, such as empathy and collaboration, and improved healthcare and education.

The skull-like Augmented World Expo Auggie Trophy was awarded to contestants in three Best-in-Show categories – Overall, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. The European AWE still has a long way to go, to reach the number of categories presented at the U.S. AR and VR AWE conference for 2017, which classified participants for AR apps and peripheral products in thirteen sophisticated categories, such as Best VR or AR app, Best Art or Film, and Best Interaction Software Tool.  

The Overall Best-in-Show Auggie Award was given to the Eyejack AR app. The creators showcased the augmented reality award-winning art book “Prosthetic Reality”, but they are currently working on expanding the product to reach out to artists who’d be interested in curating augmented art with animation and sound, as well as galleries who’d like to share the AR app technology. With animation and sound, the plain black & white comic-like prints, illustrations and sketches come to life in a colorful hyperreality. The Eyejack Android app is available for download in the Play Store.

The next in cue to be awarded was HoloCap. Though Holocap is not yet a mobile app, it now offers three new products in the area of VR and AR – HoloCap Player, HoloCap Studio & HoloCap Live. The best thing about Holocap is that it introduces a simple and an affordable real-time VR system for scanning humans with depth camera, enabling interaction between the scanner and the scanned. Without any additional setup, the intended use of the Holocap technology includes education, simulation and training, as well as film or theater visualization.

Learning was also the scope of interest of the Best-in-Show Augmented Reality Winner Seabery, whose Soldamatic AR app enables welders to master the craft by practicing with real welding exercises in a 3D welding environment using torches, coupons and positions. The AR app is excellent for first-time welders before they land into the real world and polish their welding skills to expert level, but also for trainers who can use it as an advanced technology tool in class. 

Nominations for the biggest European event for VR and AR app development are usually open during early spring, which makes the start of 2018 the perfect time to think of anyone who deserves to get into the next year’s group of winners. Popular vote counts, so now is the perfect time to name the nominees.

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