Big week for reality in Portland startups: Torch and The Wild both launch products

If you’ve talked to me about markets that have a lot of potential in Portland, we’ve no doubt discussed reality of some flavor or another. Virtual, Augmented, Immersive, Experiential… whatever you want to call it, folks in Portland have been exploring creating content with those technologies for years. And now, XR is inspiring a new crop of products in town that enable folks to create that content more easily.

Torch: A design platform for mobile AR

While Torch has allowed local folks to explore early iterations of their product in private beta, it’s only now that they’re releasing the first public version of their product. Even better? It’s free.

Torch is the only design and prototyping app that lets you create directly on the device, in 3D, using augmented reality features. Aside from your mobile device (iOS for now, Android soon), there’s no special hardware required and you do not need game development or coding experience. Design for 3D, in 3D.

For more information, read We are all 3D designers now.

The Wild: A collaboration platform for designers

The Wild has quietly had a few other permutations as they’ve worked to hone their product-market fit. Their first product release—with existing customers like adidas, ENGIN Creative, and AnkromMosian Architects—shows that they’ve found it.

The platform was created for professionals in the experience-driven “spatial design” category, an emerging conceptual design discipline that crosses the boundaries of traditional design idioms, such as architecture, landscape, interior, retail, and service design. Spatial design carries a more open-ended definition that isn’t tied to a single discipline, allowing designers to create new forms of output for their work, and thereby providing new areas of practice and creation.

For more information, visit The Wild.

[Full disclosure: Gabe Paez, founder of The Wild, is an alum of a PIE accelerator program run in collaboration with Oregon Story Board. I am the cofounder of both PIE and Oregon Story Board.]

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