The TechCrunch Podcast: Augmented reality’s promise

Welcome back to the TechCrunch Podcast, where we take a deeper dive into the hottest topics coming down tech’s pike.

In this episode, Founders Fund partner Cyan Banister and Super Ventures managing partner Matt Miesnieks joined TechCrunch editor-in-chief Matthew Panzarino to talk the past, present and future of augmented reality.

The main question, of course, is why now? Why are we seeing the likes of Facebook, Apple and other similar big companies hopping on the AR train? Because it’s starting to work. So maybe the question really is “why not?”

Comparisons between AR and VR abound, with our guests this week very much in AR’s corner. With applications in the enterprise space, construction and medical have been the most compelling uses of the tech, according to Banister. So is going for a walk and looking for ghosts. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

“Even if we reach Ready Player One haptic suits — where we’re plugged in and we can feel everything — it doesn’t replace the fact that we are social creatures and we like to go around and actually see reality,” Banister says. “And I think being disassociated from reality will be jarring. I don’t foresee people jacking into VR for eight, nine hours a day. I just don’t see it. I’m very bullish on AR and very bearish on VR for that reason, because I think it’s a great entertainment platform. We’re a long ways off, whereas we have these phones in our pocket. Mobile-first AR is going to be massive. I don’t even think people realize how massive it’s going to be.”

Miesnieks, who recently wrote about why Apple’s glasses won’t include ARKit, shares Banister’s enthusiasm. “We’ll get to a point where literally everything we see is only what we want to see.” Sounds at once frightening and amazing.

Click play above to hear the three of them talk about the path AR is on. It’s getting exciting, folks.

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