Zappar’s AR Pioneers Event Returns, November 8 and 9

Zappar’s AR Pioneers Event Returns, November 8 And 9

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Last year, AR content creation platform Zappar hosted AR Pioneers – a two-day virtual live-streaming conference. At the time, we thought it was a unique opportunity to celebrate their tenth anniversary. But, surprise! AR Pioneers is back and AR Post is a media partner. We spoke with Zappar’s head of marketing, David Mather, to find out more.

AR Pioneers 2022

Again, AR Pioneers is a two-day event, this time taking place on November 8-9. Zappar was pleased with the turnout for the event, which he hopes will educate current AR developers and inspire those not yet creating.

“For us, it really ties into our mission to democratize and bring technology to the people,” Mather said. “This should be a very comprehensive event for anyone interested in AR to people who are already building.”

Last year’s event focused on announcements and product updates. This year will see much of the same, including Zapbox updates and news about the Zapvision solution that co-founder and CTO Connell Gauld discussed during a talk at AWE this spring. Mather also mentioned a new authoring tool that he “can’t say much about” but which deals with cloud computing and computer vision.

See also: Bringing affordable XR to the masses: Zappar introduces new and improved ZapBox

However, this year’s AR Pioneers event will also feature more outside perspectives. Guest speakers include Fadi Chehimi, global head of Metaverse consumer technology at Accenture, futurist, Metaverse consultant and Forbes columnist Charlie Fink, as well as representatives from Unilever, Nestlé, H&M and others. The event will also include more developer workshops.

“This time, we are organizing other workshops. We learned last year that people really wanted to get their hands on more,” Mather said. The workshops include sessions on creating viral content and creating solutions for learning and development.

Tracks and sessions

This year, there is so much content aimed at so many people that AR Pioneers sessions are filtered into tracks. There are five tracks: Headliners, AR Strategists, AR Creators, AR Wisdom Seekers, and AR Workshops.


The “Headliners” track is basically a series of AR Pioneers keynotes. This track includes a welcome keynote for each day of the conference, as well as major announcements from Zappar’s C suite, including Zapbox, the Zapvision partnerships between Zappar and Unilever, and the authoring tool Mather alluded to so much.

Zapbox is “the most affordable mixed reality headset in the world”. The Mobile Adapter was commercially launched at last year’s event. It was actually a finalist for best head-worn Auggie device. You’ll have to watch the session (or read our coverage) to find out how it’s grown since then, but Mather gave some advice on a smaller form factor and “active controllers”.

Speaking of Auggies, we really don’t know much about this “next generation of AR creative tools”, but it’s worth seeing. While the Auggie for best head-mounted device went to the Varjo Aero, Zappar won two Auggies this spring — both for ZapWorks. The ZapWorks WebAR Platform won Best Authoring Tool and the ZapWorks AR SDKs won Best Developer Tool.

Zapvision was also announced during AWE. Gauld presented the fledgling solution with an Auggie on either side of the podium. Zapvision started off as a fluke in development – the zapcodes were readable from so far away that they made target-based AR apps difficult. So, Zappar decided to use the codes to store product information in an accessibility-aware app.

“Packaging represents this enormous source of visually identifiable information that we all take for granted, but which are partially or entirely inaccessible to people who are blind or partially sighted”, Gauld said during his speech. At the time, Zapvision was being tested in small partnerships but is now ready for a much larger rollout.

AR strategists

The AR Strategists track includes seven sessions spread over the two days. These feature advice from the Zappar team, as well as use cases and experiences from companies working with Zappar products, including Accenture, H&M, Nestlé and others.

Quick, get me into the metaverse - AR Pioneers 2022 Zappar

A potential highlight of this piece: the panel discussion “Quick, put me in the metaverse! The reality of the latest virtual trend. The conference features Fink, Chehimi, Kate Pasterfield, Creative Director and Producer of Sponge Immersive, and Max Dawes, COO of Zappar, “putting aside assumptions and possibilities” to “talk about the here and now from the metaverse”.

AR creators

The AR Creators track includes eight presentations and discussions spread over two days. Sessions include use cases as well as software and service updates. A session also explains how to “create your own digital avatar with ZapWorks and Unity”.

Panel Discussion Feeling Good, Looking Good - Zappar AR Pioneers 2022

The second day of this track features two packed panels: “The AR Industry, an Agency Perspective” and “Feel Good, Look Good: The Importance of UX and Design user interface in AR”.

AR Wisdom Seekers and AR Workshops

This track is a series of seven largely introductory discussions that discuss the use of Zappar tools and services. It’s not just Zappar, though. The track includes sessions on using Zappar with external frameworks and engines, including Three.js and A-Frame.

There are also three AR Workshops – interactive tutorials on prototyping and creating AR experiences with Zappar tools. Interestingly, some of these workshops are led by industry users rather than Zappar team members.

Register for AR Pioneers 2022

Even though AR Pioneers is a virtual conference, the number of places is limited! There are only 2,000 tickets available to attend the live event with commentary and networking and it’s not too late to register.

Need a refresh? Full recordings of last year’s event are kept on Zappar’s YouTube channel, and our coverage of last year’s event is linked above.

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