We’ve seen it time and time again. The next big thing. Web, open source, cloud, mobile… And time and time again, Portland, with its early adopter culture, has been at the forefront of nascent industries, patiently waiting for their markets to form. I’ve been waiting to see what the next big thing might be. And with today’s news from RealWear, I’m inclined to think augmented reality may be the next industry that Portland is known for.
Like web, open source, and mobile before it, Portland has taken a real affinity to virtual reality and augmented reality. We just really seem to love that technology that hasn’t quite become a market yet. Call us early adopters. Or just call us curious.
Everyone knows that Apple can be a little stringent when it comes to approving applications and content for the App Store. So it’s no surprise that Portland startup Torch has had to make a couple of attempts to get some content approved. But the reason they’re getting rejected? That’s what’s interesting.
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.
We love our shiny new tech around these parts. Even if it’s not quite ready for mass consumption. That’s why I was excited to see that Portland’s Torch 3D was accepting applications for an early sneak peek at its virtual/augmented/mixed reality editing environment.
One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.