12 Mar 2024 | Nathan C Bowser
Speaker Spotlight: Andy Hunt - The Hershey Company
AWE USA 2024

Market disruptions are pushing retailers to develop new omnichannel digital capabilities that support and enhance the physical store experience. Augmented reality, AI, and spatial computing technologies have the potential to solve many of the challenges retailers face. Yet time and time again, industry reports cite that enterprise teams are still searching for proven XR use-cases and examples of successful implementations that fit their market, business model, and legacy systems.

For the last 15 years, Augmented World Expo (AWE) has been the global AR and VR event series where business innovation leaders can connect with their peers working in XR, learn actionable advice and case studies from leaders with real-world experience, and build hands-on familiarity (and partnerships) with the hundreds of spatial computing technologies on view in the AWE Expo Hall

Speaker Spotlight - Andy Hunt

Andy Hunt, Manager, Applied Digital Innovation for The Hershey Company® is one of those XR leaders who will be sharing their experiences producing XR for global brands from the Enterprise track at AWE USA – June 18-20, in Long Beach, California. Register today..

We spoke with Andy to learn more about his career in AR and VR, producing XR projects for enterprise brands, and what we can expect from his presentation from the AWE stage. 

Please introduce yourself and what you do in spatial computing.

I am Manager of Digital Innovation in the Retail Shopper Experience Team at The Hershey Company. I've been here for about 6 years scouting, curating and piloting new technologies to provide new capabilities to the business and our retail partners.

As with so many others in innovation my experience and interests are varied. My school background is in mechanical engineering and prior to coming to Hershey, I was an Executive Creative Director in advertising. 

I've been working in spatial computing for about 8 or 9 years, working with the original Oculus Rift to create 'transportive' experiences for our advertising clients at events and trade shows. Since coming to Hershey I've been working much more with augmented reality and mixed reality primarily delivered through phones and tablets but occasionally via head mounted devices. 

We're working very hard to strategically develop solutions that our users are excited to use and provide real business value.

How many AWE events have you attended over the last 15 years?

I have only attended one other AWE, back in 2019 and very much enjoyed the event. The sessions were inspiring and educational and lots to see in the exhibits.

Everyone has a story about their “Aha! moment” with XR - what’s your XR origin story?

It's not an 'origin' story so much as it is a great 'aha!' moment. A few years ago we were testing processes for putting traditional 3D CAD work in a variety of AR/MR outputs. These processes and outputs would set the course then for subsequent pilots against a prioritized set of use cases our supply chain team was investigating. 

We invited our senior supply chain leadership to participate in the demo and provide feedback during one of the tests. We had them in headsets in our large test space walking around and interacting with the experience. 

We could have used pre-recorded videos and presentations but our "show don't tell" strategy was the key towards communicating the value of the possibilities and build the excitement for the work we were doing.

Who should come to your talk and what are you excited to share from the stage at AWE?

I'm excited to talk about how we look at innovations in spatial computing and how we are developing solutions to solve real-world problems—like this application of AR and AI that helps regional sales teams collaborate with the retailers they work with. I'm hoping to bring a very user-centric POV with all of my points and anyone that is interested in hearing that perspective should consider attending.

What are you hoping to learn at AWE? What questions are you bringing to ask others at the conference? 

I'm hoping to find inspiration from others delivering unique solutions at the enterprise level to their users at scale. 

I think AR/MR is very much a technology that is finding a foothold in the enterprise at a rate equal to or faster than the consumer level and will drive a lot of perceptions of what is possible.

Connect and grow with enterprise leaders at AWE 

With over 500 expert speakers and over 350 leading spatial technologies on view, AWE USA 2024 is an invaluable resource for any innovator looking to get ahead of the game with AR and VR technologies. 

Register before 3/21 to save up to $800 with Early Bird Tickets or contact us to learn more about our exclusive executive programme, AWE FOCUS, which provides unique experiences for enterprise leaders and stakeholders.

Register NOW


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