Tech Crunch opinion piece on AR startups – will 2019 be a rough year?

An opinion piece by Lucas Matney for Tech Crunch has garnered much interest on social media to start the year.  The article is entitled: “Magic Leap and other AR startups have a rough 2019 ahead of them.”

2018 was supposed to be a year where the foundational tech for augmented reality was built out a bit and the industry took a couple big leaps. Things started off well-enough, but momentum really doesn’t seem be on the side of some of the industry’s heaviest hitters heading into 2019, suggesting that life for earlier-stage startups may not be much easier.

There are plenty of reasons to be long-term bullish on AR, but the time horizons some have espoused seems to be bogus and pitch decks organized around a near-term spike in phone-based or glasses-based users are going to have a tougher time being taken seriously in 2019.

Some of the points raised in the article include:

  • Whether Magic Leap hindered progress in the AR industry by siphoning investor attention and discouraging other hardware startups from joining the fray in the face of a billions-backed unknown.
  • Are solved tech problems stuck in limbo waiting for a problem that makes them worthwhile?
  • Known platform fundamentals are still being tackled.
  • Issues like segmenting environments by objects and accurately identifying them are still in the earliest stages.
  • Whether the hardware is small enough yet

Many other points and discussions are raised in this comprehensive article.

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