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.
While we’ve all been geeking out about VR for a while now, it’s not always easy to understand the practical and needed applications of that technology. Until we see them. And then we’re like “Ohhhhhhh. Yeah. That makes sense.” Like the work Portland startup The Wild did with adidas and the HTC Vive.
In the early days of any new technology, there is always the challenge of compatibility. As various file formats, schemas, and structures spring to life, interoperability is often the last thing to consider. So it’s always nice to see this sort of thing happening sooner rather than later. Like Portland startup The Wild enabling folks to work with SketchUp files within The Wild VR environment.
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.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: Portland has an incredibly promising AR/VR/Mixed Reality community. From folks who create content to companies that are building the infrastructure and tools to deliver it, we’ve got a wealth of interesting startups and creatives in this still nascent market. And it’s always good to get all of those folks together. Which is what’s happening during Portland Startup Week with Immersive Startups.
Looks like we have another acquisition to talk about today. Portland startup Provata Health has been acquired by StayWell, a division of healthcare giant Merck.
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.
It’s no secret that Portland likes its shiny new technology. We’re among the earliest of adopters and the most curious of hobbyists with all sorts of newfangled stuff. And that means that once a technology enters the popular lexicon, we tend to be fairly well phrased in its applications and potential. So when it comes to technology like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, folks in Portland have a great deal to say. And they’ll be doing exactly that during the next Portland Business Journal Power Breakfast.
It’s no secret that the Portland startup community has more than its fair share of virtual reality and augmented reality activity. But it’s only going to be a truly interesting, compelling, and vibrant with a variety of voices and experiences. That’s why it’s awesome to see folks like Kerri Lynne Thorp who are working to ensure that everyone feels welcome in this burgeoning community.
As we all know, when you’re in a startup, money is tight. But every little bit of exposure has the potential of completely changing the course of your company. How do you reconcile the two? You take advantage of discounts, scholarships, and grants. Like this one that Business Oregon is offering up to help fund a trip to London for VR/AR folks.