The AR Cloud is Making it Rain!

Everything happening in the AR Cloud

It’s not as big as dancing hotdogs, but the AR industry is obsessed with it — and it’s raining green.

Just 7 quick months passed since I coined the term, and I am ecstatic to report: the AR Cloud is fully born.

For those who missed my partner’s and my previous posts — no, it doesn’t stand for “Account Receivable in the Cloud”. Nor does it relate to Arkansa’s weather.

The concept dubbed “Augmented Reality Cloud” — provides something sorely missing with current AR Apps: a persistent 3D digital copy of the real world to enable sharing of AR experiences across multiple users and devices.

Just a few months ago it sounded far fetched; it’s incredible to see how much this concept has already bloomed. This post is a progress report for everything happening in the AR Cloud.

Out of Stealth with Cash to Grow

Just in the past month, 3 new investment rounds led by top tier VCs were announced by fantastic AR Cloud companies that emerged from stealth.

Vision:Blue Vision — build the future of AR

Money: $14.5M lead by Google ventures

Best for: city scale augmented reality experiences from millions of pictures

Vision: Edit Reality Together

Money: $10.5M led by Index Ventures, with participation from First Round Capital, Kleiner Perkins, Google’s Gradient Ventures, LDVP, A+E and WndrCo

Best for: shared experiences in a confined area

6d.ai — Introduction and Master Plan

Money: an undisclosed amount led by General Catalyst, Super Ventures among others. Conceived while at Super Ventures and led by my partner - the brilliant Matt Miesnieks.

Best for: creating an infinitely large scale mesh from a handheld smartphone with RGB camera, with a goal to support crowd-sourced AR Cloud creation.

These 3 companies join over a dozen companies that already came out as AR Cloud companies — see at the bottom.

Investors are Hooked

With a strong show of confidence, a handful of investors announced a (re)focus on investing in the AR Cloud:

General Catalyst — “to build the AR Cloud

Shasta Camera fund — “drive the entire AR world forward.”

GFR — “particular focus on mobile AR platforms, AR Cloud”

Presence Capital —” interested in companies that are building AR infrastructure (such as the AR cloud)”

…and of course, yours truly Super Ventures is the fuel behind the AR Cloud.

Forbes is on AR Cloud Nine

Forbes article series helped spread the word with a series of articles lead by Charlie Fink:

Who’s seeding the AR Cloud

The AR Cloud will be bigger than search

The Search Engine of AR

Charlie Fink’s Metaverse book made it official — the AR Cloud is now in print. Actually according to Amazon — it’s already out of print!

The Explainers Get It

A series of great explainer articles followed and helped popularized the concept:

Building the AR Cloud by Scape

Why GPS won’t be enough for the AR era by Sturfee

The AR Cloud Explained by Artillry

How We Get to AR Future by Wareable

What’s the point of Augmented Reality by exaquark

AR Cloud is Augmented Reality’s Next Big Evolution by ARCritic

and from GDC… The AR Cloud: Why the future of MR is not a device, it’s all of them

These articles have been translated into many languages such as French (Tout savoir sur l’AR Cloud), German (AR-Cloud für Augmented Reality?, and Augmented Reality ohne AR Cloud ist “nutzlos”), Chinese, and many others.

Open Foundations Are Emerging

Since the beginning of 2018, 2 foundations dedicated to building a decentralized open source-style AR Cloud were announced (more to come soon):

  1. Norkart’s appeal for an open AR-Cloud community

On Github: https://github.com/OpenArCloud

https://open-arcloud.org

2. YouAR announced a call for a decentralized, open AR Cloud foundation

https://www.arcloud.world/

Cool AR Cloud logo

Saving Marriages

This is a true testimonial:

“finally my wife understands what I have been doing for so many years and why it’s so damn important!”

— CEO of an AR Cloud company

You are welcome.

Big Players Next Move

We’re investing heavily in this concept of AR Cloud

— CEO Niantic Labs, John Hanke

During these past few months, we have have seen the big players such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Snap, Niantic Labs, Amazon,… paying close attention to the AR Cloud concept and engaging on multiple levels. It resonated with their vision (and perhaps their FOMO) and might have something to do with accelerating their planning. Two key aspects of the AR Cloud: Persistence & Sharing — may soon be provided by Google and Apple and announced at I/O and WWDC respectively, according to sources familiar with the matter.

These new capabilities will be a significant boost to the global AR Cloud and may make some startups obsolete, but they won’t quite fulfill the complete vision of the AR Cloud and that leaves plenty of room for startups to spearhead the concept and take leadership positions.

Events

AR Cloud is becoming a topic at meetups and events around the globe and will naturally be a big draw at the industry’s largest gathering at AWE USA on May 30-June 1, 2018 in Santa Clara California — don’t miss: Building the AR Cloud panel, and the Open AR Cloud Roundtable.

AR Cloud Startups

Blue vision (London) — Bringing new digital experiences to the real world

Ubiquity6 (San Francisco) — Edit Reality Together

6d.ai (San Francisco)- Occlusion, Persistence, Multi-Player, Cross-platform, At Outdoor Scale

YOUar (Portland) —Delivering a World of Shared Augmented Reality

Scape (London) — A digital framework for the physical world

Escher Reality (Boston) [acquired by Niantic Labs]

Escher Reality marks the first AR Cloud company to be acquired this year . I predict it’ll be one of many in 2018.

Sturfee (Santa Clara) — Using satellite imagery to create 3D point cloud

Fantasmo (Los Angeles) — Point clouds for retail and more

Insider Navigation (Vienna, Austria) — Navigation for industrial spaces

Postar.io (San Francisco) — Pin secret digital notes in the real world for your friends to find later

www.arcona.io (Saint Petersburg) — buy virtual land on the blockchain

Vertical (San Francisco)— try their app Placenote!

Recently joined the list, some with flashy press releases:

Immersal — “A new challenger emerges and reaches for the sky and the AR Cloud!”

Miralupa — announcing blockchain-based AR Cloud

Jido Maps — Y combinator recent graduate

0terra — AR Network for multiple users to collaborate

Bubbled — Decentralised virtual spaces and governance for AR content

Mixed Place — the greatest digital revolution in human history

Aromni — The AR Platform of the future

Dent — Retail Reimagined

Is your company missing?

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If you are a startup, investor or corporation interested in the AR Cloud- talk to us.

Let’s partner in building the AR Cloud !

To wrap it up on a sweet note: a 3D cake with AR Cloud on top! (sketchfab)

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