Victoria’s Digital Innovation Status Bolstered by Magnify World Expo 2018

Annual Magnify World Expo and Business Summit is heading to Melbourne for the first time, as the flagship event of the Victorian Government Digital Innovation Festival.

Leah Hubay, Melbourne Convention Bureau, Communications Manager

Annual Magnify World Expo and Business Summit is heading to Melbourne for the first time, as the flagship event of the Victorian Government Digital Innovation Festival.

Magnify World Expo will be held over the first two days of the festival, from 24 – 25 August, which brings together the best augmented and virtual reality entrepreneurs and industry. It is the leading AR/VR public exhibition and summit in the Asia-Pacific region, creating a unique global networking event that combines fortune500 brands with local start-ups.
Held at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the event offers interactive workshops, panel discussions and demonstrations that foster collaboration and new business opportunities.

Karen Bolinger, Melbourne Convention Bureau CEO said that Melbourne is the ideal city to host such a progressive event.

“VR and AR is being integrated in consumers everyday lives, in unique and unexpected ways across multiple industries. Victoria is renowned as an innovative and creative state, with a local community of talent who are pushing the boundaries in what VR and AR can achieve.

“MCB recognised that this event would fit within the digital innovation strategy for the Victorian State Government, and intentionally pursued this event, showcasing the value business events deliver across a range of industries.

“This is the second year in a row MCB has secured the flagship event for the Digital Innovation Festival and part of our ongoing strategy is to secure events that bolster the Governments festival program,” Ms Bolinger concluded.

Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy Philip Dalidakis said he is delighted to have Magnify World Expo in Victoria to help attract the world’s best and brightest tech leaders and connect them with Victorian companies and entrepreneurs at this year’s Digital Innovation Festival. “Our reputation as a global tech hub is growing and some of the biggest and brightest global companies including Alibaba, Dialog, Square and Cybergym have recently established regional headquarters in Victoria.”

The event is anticipated to deliver over 700 delegates and generate over $2 million in economic contribution for Victoria.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren said that Melbourne is setting the pace when it comes to securing and delivering business events.
“Victoria has an enviable reputation for hosting world class events – attracting the highest number of attendees for conferences held in

About Melbourne Convention Bureau

The Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) is a sales and economic business development organisation that partners with state and local government and strategic industry partners to identify, secure or create large international conferences, corporate meetings and incentive programs for Victoria. This is all new business that helps drive Victoria’s visitor and knowledge economy. Business events deliver an economic contribution of $9 billion and 65,000 jobs annually.

MCB is the state’s sole entity responsible for the procurement of international business events. MCB positions Melbourne nationally and internationally as a business events destination that goes above and beyond for clients and partners, creating lasting social and community impacts through legacies that deliver well beyond the event itself.

MCB is globally connected with international representation in North America, Europe and Asia.

Australia looks to capitalise on $150b AR and VR market opportunity

With 20 percent of Australians already using filters on ‘selfies’, augmented reality is likely to be commonplace in the enterprise of the future.

By Asha McLean 

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is pinned to be a $150 billion market across all industry sectors, according to Magnify World head of innovation Matt Coleman.

Speaking with ZDNet ahead of the Magnify World AR/VR-focused expo in Melbourne in August, Coleman said it’s a market Australia has the potential to capitalise on.

“We believe that the AR/VR platform is going to be as big as the internet in the coming years,” he said.


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In preparing Australia-specific research, Coleman said his team has uncovered a couple of thousand people that are employed in the industry already.

“We think there’s going to be around a AU$1.6 billion revenue opportunity for new companies and corporates in the Australian market over the next two years — it’s much bigger than everybody thinks,” he explained.

While the applications for AR and VR within the enterprise world range are extensive, particularly when it comes to data visualising in the mining, construction, and healthcare sectors, Coleman believes the push for adoption, like many emerging technologies, is thanks to the consumer uptake.

“The advertising agency community say 20 percent of Australia’s population have already tried a Snapchat-like filter over their face … and that’s a big number,” he explained. “Snapchat’s driving this; the consumer probably wouldn’t know it’s called augmented reality — it’s a digital interface over the real world — that’s what augmented reality is.”

It isn’t just Snapchat; Apple for example is investing heavily in the AR/VR space, releasing ARKit, a software development toolkit for developers to build AR apps for iPhones and iPads.

“Mark Zuckerberg and Tim Cook from Apple have both said AR and VR are the top platforms they are investing in — they are targeting this industry to be number one,” Coleman said, highlighting the influence the major tech firms will have in the space.

“[Google and Apple] are going head-to-head with the development communities about how startups and corporates can actually create new consumer and corporate experiences for training, etc.”

Magnify World has partnered with the Victorian government in a bid to bring more awareness to the space in Australia. Coleman said the state government has a vision to put Melbourne on the map as the AR/VR capital of the APAC region, investing millions into building skills in the space.

“They’ve just spent AU$148 million on three new colleges — hi-tech schools, launching next month,” Coleman added. “What they’ll be teaching is AR/VR, robotics, drone technology, artificial intelligence, animation, design, and a number of other things.”

The colleges during the day will be used to educate high school students, hoping to upskill the future workforce on the more “fun” elements of STEM education.

Coleman said the federal government is also planning on using the colleges as a test case to see if it is feasible to roll it out to the rest of Australia.

Although estimations from 2015 indicated the AR/VR market could hit $150 billion by 2020, analyst firm Digi-Capital revised its forecast in January, predicting AR could reach $85 billion to $90 billion, and VR $10 billion to $15 billion in revenues by 2022.


2018 to be a landmark year for VR, AR

Rohan Pearce (Computerworld) 21 June, 2018 14:59

This year and the next will be “landmark years” for the adoption of augmented reality and virtual reality technology, according to Matt Coleman, the head of innovation for the Magnify World AR and VR expo.

“We really believe that AR and VR is the next computer platform that everyone will be using in the future and it should be as big as the Internet in the coming years,” he added.

Magnify World is coming to Melbourne later this year.

According to figures from Telsyte, the Australian VR headset market grew 40 per cent last year. The company’s figures reveal that for now it remains niche with just 302,000 devices sold in 2017.

However, the analyst firm is forecasting that by 2021, some 2.2 million Australian households will have a VR headset in use, and that VR headset annual revenue will be in excess of $200 million by 2020.

“The price points for the headsets have been higher than expected and I think that creates a bit of a barrier to the standard consumer,” Coleman said. “For example Microsoft HoloLens – a fantastic mixed reality headset although it’s definitely out of the reach of a normal consumer when they’re priced at three to eight grand.”

The HoloLens has seen adoption within enterprises for a range of applications, while at the consumer end of the market a range of brands, including HTC, Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei and HP, are investing in VR and AR, he said.

“We see augmented reality surpassing VR very, very quickly,” Coleman said. Around 20 per cent of Australians are believed to have tried a Snapchat filter, he added.

“They wouldn’t know that’s augmented reality, but that’s what it is — placing digital image over your face and then sharing that on social media.”

Deloitte has predicted that this year, globally, discrete app revenues for AR content will be less than US$100 million. 

However, its Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions 2018 report adds that this should not be “interpreted as meaning that AR will add just $100 million in value”. The TMT report explains: “We expect AR capability will be a key differentiator for some genres of apps (social networks, messaging, shopping, games) and operating systems, and will be an important driver of smartphone upgrades.”

Direct AR revenues will exceed US$1 billion by 2020, Deloitte predicts.

Telsyte believes more than one in three Australians has already experienced AR thanks to the popularity of apps such as Pokémon Go and Snapchat.

Over the last year, tech giants like Apple and Facebook have thrown “extraordinary resources” at AR, Coleman said.

Earlier this month Apple introduced ARKit 2: The successor to the original version of its AR platform released last year. At the 2018 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the company’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, described AR as a “transformational technology”

“It’s bringing experiences into the real world; it enables all kinds of new experiences — changing the way we have fun and the way we work,” Federighi said

ARKit 2 delivers “advances with improved face tracking, more realistic rendering and support for 3D object detection and persistence,” the Apple executive told the event.

Facebook and Google are also making big bets on AR and VR.

Facebook owns VR headset maker Oculus and also offers AR tools for developers that want to use the technology on its social media platform.

Google’s sister company X has taken custodianship of the refreshed Glass program. Earlier this year Google launched a new AR platform, ARCore, and last month announced wider availability of Google Lens.

Microsoft offers its HoloLens ‘mixed-reality’ headset, and there are rumours a second version will be announced later this year.

“Tim Cook and Mark Zuckerberg have made this one of their top three priority platforms of the future – that says a lot,” Coleman said.

Coleman expects Glass-style smartglasses to become more widely available over the next two years, with Apple potentially entering the market — although earlier this year chip-maker Intel revealed it had stopped work on its Vaunt project.

Magnify World will be held in Melbourne on 24 and 25 August. Tickets are available online.