AR, VR: Perfect Timing for Community Tech Project

Last week I got a new iPhone that’s augmented reality (AR) friendly. For the first 20 minutes, I was giggling like a little boy — in no small part because I had dinosaurs wandering around my kitchen.

40 minutes later, after downloading the top rated apps: all I could do with AR is play games, see what furniture I might purchase would look like in my rooms, and draw in the air.

Microsoft’s decision to skip a version of Hololens and wait until 2019 before releasing their headset to the general public now makes a whole lot more sense. I’m sure we will see some cool AR apps for smart phones in the next year, but the development tech for building them is still pretty primitive. And the more I played with my iPhone, the more obvious the limitations of doing AR through a tiny window became.

This week, we learned that Apple came to the same conclusion. They leaked that they’re going to come out with a headset sometime — they hope — in 2020.

Given the news that’s been coming out around VR, I think the same is probably true there: the tech is almost here, but not quite.

This is kind of a bummer for people who are into AR or VR. But for communities that our society has essentially written off? It’s perfect timing. AR and VR are just beginning to take off, but they still have a ways to go. That means there’s plenty of time for these communities to take a shot at fully participating in this new economic opportunity by getting a seat at the front of the economic bus.

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