AR "Browsers" On The Phone

Jacqueline gave us an update yesterday on the latest with Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore.

These AR “browsers” are coming soon to Apple and Google phones.

We think this is a big deal because for the first time AR developers will have standard environments to build to that are already in the hands of 1bn people.

Jacqueline wrote a bit about all of this on her Medium blog, here and here.

Throughout our conversation yesterday, I was a little unclear about how all of this would work from a UI perspective.

But then we watched this on our conference room TV and it all became a lot clearer to me.

By the way, if you like that video, you can back the developer on Kickstarter. They only have three days left on their project.

At USV, we have been slow to embrace AR and VR, as we have had a hard time seeing how all of this cool technology becomes mainstream.

With ARKit and ARCore, that path seems a lot more clear now and Jacqueline is leading our effort to talk to companies that are working in this space.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Joe Lazarus

    Totally agree. The high end Occulus type VR headsets seem way too nerdy and isolating beyond the basement gamer crowd. The recent ARKit demos are much more approachable and fun. Props to Snapchat too for pointing the way with their face filters,

    1. JamesHRH

      You should quickly trademark ‘ basement gamer crowd ‘

  2. Shalabh

    Totally agree and the rovr dog is awesome. I was at a demo day at MIT few weeks ago and I tried Rovr first hand. More importantly I saw others trying it. It was fun to see a 60 year old embracing this technology so fast.

  3. Marissa_NYx

    This looks amazing and scaleable. And yes, hats off to those who believe in the browser as the way to market with this type of innovation.

  4. jason wright

    but it’s got to go to spectacles/ glasses (and not the ridiculous phone+goggles combo) to boom as a consumer product.p.s. going back to your earlier post on Energy & Transportation…, i just read this quite startling sentence about Ford;”Ford went from selling 2/3 of all US-built cars in 1921 to just 15% in 1927.” That’s a quite remarkable change in such a short space of time. Perhaps Tony Seba is going to be proved very right.

    1. awaldstein

      disagree. we tried and tried and tried to do that with RLD and take it from the theatre to the home and failed.

      1. jason wright


        1. awaldstein

          was a stereoscopic 3d company I was involved with that worked with early on and part of the team that built their markets.spent a lot of time thinking about this and talking to people worldwide on how variations of this could potentially happen,

    2. Twain Twain

      Disagree with spectacles / glasses as the medium. Basically, all it needs is a plane of glass that can run a browser.

      1. jason wright

        the re engineering of the built environment?

        1. Twain Twain

          Hands-free, no keyboards, no wires.

          1. Jacob E. Dawson

            No…movement. Isn’t that just a glorified screen? Surely the benefit of AR is that it moves with you. There will have to be a portable component that displays / beams images to the eyes. Holding up a phone to get the experience isn’t going to cut it.

          2. Twain Twain

            I didn’t say no movement. I said hands-free to mean there’d be no typing on a keyboard.

          3. Jacob E. Dawson

            So where is this plane of glass? Does it move with me when I walk?

    3. JamesHRH

      Ford sells a lot of cars in other countries.

  5. JimHirshfield

    “But then we watched this on our conference room TV and it all became a lot clearer to me”How so? The dog fetched the stick.The dog did NOT eat the dog food.

    1. JamesHRH

      The only thing that became clear to me was how old I am.

  6. Jeremy Robinson

    I’m sure my tech-savvy 8 year-old Granddaughter will be spending many of her afternoons playing with this electronic puppy in a year or two. For myself, curmudgeon that I am, I’d still rather read a poem or a book. Yikes, is there room in this universe for both of us?

    1. PhilipSugar

      Yes there is room. I am a believer that there is always a pendulum, and we do need to equal this out a bit and it will happen. My kids school teaches programming and I have the third place Lego Robotics League team in the state.However, they do not allow “screen time” other than programming and they have to learn Latin. I have a Greenhouse for microgreens, raised bed garden, bee hives, and a crab boat but have been running software companies since 1992.The only thing that bothers me is when I see people that literally cannot stop looking at the phone while driving. What can be that important? More important than a human life?It used to bother me a bit when I would see people pulled into our office parking lot to look at the phone. Now I almost want to go out and say thank you.

      1. LE

        they do not allow “screen time” other than programmingI have tried so hard with my wife to get my stepkids off the phone or at least to negotiate access in exchange for some other worthwhile activity. She simply doesn’t see it the same way that I do. And after all they are her kids so I have to often drop the battle. But I continue with the brainwashing and I am making progress. It really really bothers me. If it were just me it would definitely not be an issue and I wouldn’t break a sweat making it happen. What I said they had to do would happen and they know that.The kids of course do really really well at school so it’s not as if I have a strong leg to stand on with at least part of the point that I am trying to make (fortunate or unfortunate). The problem is they aren’t encountering enough adversity or challenge. Because it’s so easy for them grade wise and that will be a problem later in life and will not allow them to achieve everything they can. This is the scourge of social media. Back in the day almost all parents limited tv time. It was a given. Not the same from what I can tell today.My wife was trying to get my stepdaughter to pick an after school activity and she didn’t want to. I called her down and told her that mom would be taking her to see the area community college the next day because that is where she would be going if she didn’t try to increase her brain surface and get off snapchat all of the time. Both of us (not just me) brought her to tears. But she got the message.

        1. wynn lare

          You can’t worry about bringing her to tears.You may have missed your own point …..”the step children need a little training in adversity”.Not saying making teenage girls cry is a goal …..but it sure isn’t going to kill her.I just read an article about mothers being harder on their teenage daughters and how it will give them higher standards going forward ……..especially in their ability to keep their standards up with men…… both in their personal lives and professional endeavors …..Young women need to be hardened off a little bit…. if not have some sort of mini bootcamp protocol that goes on maybe when they’re 12 to 15 years old…..CARRY ON…..Your blue crab messages are amusing … sis lived in Arlington after grad school.

      2. Twain Twain

        WAIT! You have a crab boat?!!!At the dim sum restaurant you go to … is there any Malaysian Golden Crab or Singaporean chili crab? https://uploads.disquscdn.c

          1. PhilipSugar

            No, never. I am in Maryland. These are blue crabs. Known as Callinectes sapidus (from the Greek calli- = “beautiful”, nectes = “swimmer”, and Latin sapidus = “savory”)…

          2. Twain Twain

            Thanks, I know blue swimmers. There’s a Vietnamese vermicelli soup that uses them.https://uploads.disquscdn.c

        1. PhilipSugar

          I have eaten both. I go both places twice a year at least but here is mine

          1. PhilipSugar

            Yesterday for my wife’s 72 year old mother’s birthday.

      3. Jeremy Robinson

        I like what you wrote Phil. Thanks.

  7. Pointsandfigures

    Hard to envision how AR or VR become “networks”. Easy to see the utility of the technology. Not just a game. Can see a use for it in high powered occupations like civil engineering and finance.

  8. Vitomir Jevremovic

    Finally, Fred is talking about AR&VR :)We’ve been in VR since the beginning and in AR for many years, and are quite happy how things are progressing. My impressions are:1. VR will grow rapidly especially when new higher resolution, cheaper and lighter headset are introduced2. AR will grow with ARkit as no trackers are now needed, though new use-cases will need to be developed and retention will be the key factor in success. Holding a small screen phone is a bit of a problem. You cannot play games or use it for continues experience for a long time. Tracker based AR was here years ago but did not expand that much.3. MR will take off faster than we can image as soon as bigger FOV is available in high quality/modest price range, as there are many professional use-casesChallenge will be incorporating business models inside these realities (pets are easy, but other cases might prove more difficult). Sales in VR/AR/MR will be a big driver in the future.Another problem is that developing for VR/AR/MR is not as easy as for the web. Developers experience is needed and high-quality content is not easy to produce, and only high quality will survive on the market.

  9. DJL

    One of the challenges I see in this space is that animated graphics have become so life-like, you have to stretch to see the difference. In my kids games, for example, there is no need for a VR layer. The entire dog fetch scene would be animated (which I assume is less work?)In any case, this is really cool and I’m sure a killer app is on the way.

  10. Lee Lorenzen

    In honor of today’s launch of KINcoin by Kik Interactive, please check out my post on:”Why Kik Interactive is the Next $100 billion Company”:…in the post, I explain what the following pictures have to do with one another: https://uploads.disquscdn.c…I’m looking forward to my prediction coming true that Kik Interactive Inc. will be the Next $100 Billion Company — just like my last such prediction in 2007 about Facebook which came true when they became a $100 Billion Company at the time of their IPO in 2012.

  11. William Mougayar

    Yes, we need more cool Apps to show off AR for the average user.Question for Jacqueline:Is AR gunning for entertainment types of Apps mostly or will we see other use cases?

    1. Jacqueline Garavente

      Sorry for the delay William. I think the answer is that we’ll see broad adoption in several verticals. I don’t know if AR will be mobile 2.0 or its own computing platform, but I do expect that any vertical with a mobile presence is a candidate for AR functionality and that is where we will see things pick up over the next year.

      1. William Mougayar


  12. MHSzymczyk

    Fred – we’ve been running the Facebook Augmented Reality community for the last 8 years –…. In the last 4 months alone, the activity has been skyrocketing – especially with ARKit and ARCore tech demos. I would definitely check out the videos section if you want to get a better sense of what’s being done in the ARKit / ARCore space. It’s good to see that AR has finally arrived 🙂

  13. OurielOhayon

    pokemon GO made it clear about the potential of phones as AR browsers. going to be big indeed

  14. LE

    At USV, we have been slow to embrace AR and VR, as we have had a hard time seeing how all of this cool technology becomes mainstream.This is actually a re-arranging of ‘entertainment’ offerings. Entertainment attention (free or paid) doesn’t grow. It is pretty much a constant. So the question also is ‘who will be losing if and when this becomes a big consumer thing’. (Big if).

  15. LE

    Doesn’t seem by the following statement that you are backing the Kickstarter project. That’s unusual (you typically highlight ones that you back) and is in keeping with other things you said in today’s post which indicate general skepticism about AR and investment opportunties at least with consumers.By the way, if you like that video, you can back the developer on Kickstarter. They only have three days left on their project.

    1. fredwilson

      my bad. i did back it today, enthusiastically!!!!!!!!