AI Startups Are Facing a ReckoningRead more

An Ikea mobile AR app for furniture shopping. Photo from Ikea

TI Reality Check: Mobile AR Isn’t Just a Stepping Stone

By  |  March 16, 2021 11:15 AM PDT
Photo: An Ikea mobile AR app for furniture shopping. Photo from Ikea

Welcome back!

I have a feeling the topic won’t come up too often in this newsletter, but let’s take a moment to talk about AR and non-fungible tokens or NFTs—the new fad sweeping cryptocurrency circles and the art collector world (for more on the broader NFT craze, read The Information’s Sam Lessin on the capital and media trends behind the phenomenon, along with Martin Peers, who compares NFTs to the ‘70s pet rock craze).

Recently, one high profile NFT sale made headlines thanks to its association with hip hop artist MF DOOM (real name Daniel Dumile), who died in 2020. Before he died, Dumile approved the creation and auction of a few AR variants on his iconic MF DOOM masks last year, limited edition collectibles which can either be displayed and examined in an AR app on mobile phones or digitally worn via a filter. The first batch of masks was listed for auction a week before Dumile’s death in October.

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From left: Paul Graham, Garry Tan and Michael Seibel. Photos by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
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