AR, News, Trade Shows, Visualization

AR in Action Industry Summit at MIT

ARIA Event Welcome SignFor two days, experts in augmented reality (AR) and its applications gathered at the MIT Media Lab to talk at the AR in Action event. We at ONU have long extolled the virtues of AR, but even we were impressed with the diversity of thought we found during a couple of snowy days in Cambridge. Companies like PTC, Google, Microsoft, and Nike sent their ambassadors to speak to AR’s value and applications and how to get the word out. Approximately 120 speakers hit the two stages over the course of the event.

While we couldn’t catch them all, here are a few tidbits we took away from the conference on the Charles.

ARIA Event graphic representing talk topicsARIA Event graphic representing talk topics
The hall was decorated with hand-drawn posters representing speakers and topics.


Cramer’s Head of Creative Technology, Lindsay Nie, described the 6 Ways We Use AR in Marketing and how AR encourages consumers to engage with products, art, and each other in new and exciting ways.


PTC’s Ben Shani demonstrated ways augmented reality can enhance music instruction practice. As he played on a keyboard, flowers, paint dabs, and even tiny aliens floated off the keys.


Dr. Albert Kwon from AUGMENTx showed the game-changing possibilities for AR in rehabilitation for stroke victims.


Albert Kwon of AugmentX apeaking at ARIA
Dr. Albert Kwon


Defense contractor, BAE Systems’ John Kelly and Fran Piascik, gave examples of how processes as disparate as trade show prep and military training were becoming easier and more efficient by using AR.


Paul Cataldo, co-founder of Valacrity, showed the practical uses for smart glasses in manufacturing and machine maintenance and the need for new content. Hands-free smart glasses enable workers to see schematics and diagrams while they work, reducing the time spent on each repair.


Tom Impallomeni of Tribe gave us a demo of his disc jockey training module, while explaining how the immersive nature of AR applies to learning practically anything.


Tom Impallomeni of Tribe speaking at ARIA
Tom Impallomeni


ONU’s own Sam Sesti talked about integrating CAD in VR/AR design and our ability to lighten file-size, making the conversion process easier, faster, and nimbler, so there’d be enough content for all these AR trailblazers.


Sam Sesti of ONU speaking at ARIA
Sam Sesti, President of ONU