According to the recent wave of announcements, there will likely be over 1 Billion Augmented Reality enabled smartphones in the market over the next year. Holy #$@!
I recently mused in a post that, following Apple’s introduction of ARKit, Google would soon follow suit. It seems that has happened (quicker than I anticipated) and now I have an entirely new pile of things to muse on.
The application layer of the stack is more tangible now. After a series of conversations with developers and entrepreneurs, I’m starting to get a better idea of what people are focusing on. Here are a few, and by no means exhaustive list of, elements I’m particularly psyched about. A special thank you to all of the developers/ subject matter experts/ entrepreneurs who reached out upon reading my last post.
Neopets, Sims, <insert favorite 2000’s game> 2.0
One of my new favorite Twitter follows is an account called @mixedrealitypet. Who among us hasn’t yearned for the days when you were desperately trying to keep your tamagotchi alive?
Mixed reality makes me think that the next real application could be mixed reality creatures that people care for. Whether it’s a pet, or as Andy Weissman hypothesized, a crowdsourced digital celebrity, I could see people latching on to a use case here. I’m just starting to read a book called, “The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” (h/t Remi Rousseau for the recommendation) and it’s getting me excited about people becoming emotionally invested in a digital creature of their making. Plus, digital dogs are super cute and allowed in my apartment building.
The gaping hole in the release of ARKit and ARCore is the opportunity for multi-user experiences. This could be an area where startups have a lot to contribute. I’m wondering how much of this “hole” will be filled by the larger platforms, but I imagine there will be areas for startups to play.
There are many different approaches to this, and here are some of the cool ones I’ve seen lately:
Remi Rousseau of Mimesys showing real time collaboration in the medical field with CT Scans.
David Urbina of Neon, showing persistent content for users to discover
There’s also the element of building the backend to these multi-user experiences, which Escher reality demonstrated recently at Y Combinator Demo Day.
Escher Reality is building the backend for cross-platform mobile AR
The potential of mobile augmented reality is clear. Last summer Pokemon Go gave a glimpse of just how big this craze…
Rethinking Economic Principles Behind Digital Assets
Decentraland was the first company I talked to that really got me thinking about this. They’re thinking specifically about a metaverse where the users can own a parcel of land, develop on it, and use blockchain infrastructure to create an incentive mechanism for content generation/use. That concept is fascinating in its own right, but the underlying economic principles are what really intrigue me. Specifically, what does AR (or even AR+blockchain) mean for the scarcity of digital assets? Now that many of these AR experiences on our mobile phones will be geo location specific, will this create a digital universe with stores of value?
I’m excited that things are moving at such a high velocity these days. Keep the ideas and innovations coming and I will keep posting about the neat things we’re seeing. As always, feel free to reach out to me for a chat.