This startup wants to augment your reality.

Augmented Reality is an interactive combination of the real and virtual worlds. Its most famous implementation, probably, is Pokémon Go, the mobile game that became a worldwide sensation in 2016.

Others have tried to duplicate the success, and many companies have tried to apply Augmented Reality (AR) to other use cases and experiences, but often the results have been clunky, gimmicky, and (worst of all) boring.

But we may be at an inflection point today, as AR technology gets better and better, and mobile handsets get more and more powerful. The new Apple handsets have LiDAR in them — technology that can create a 3-D rendering of any object you point the camera at. This is a big deal, which will enable taking mobile AR experiences to the next level.

A new LA startup, 4th Labs, has been founded to create AR experiences that engage and educate. The founder, a film school grad, knows about storytelling and crafting compelling programming from his work at Netflix, WB and ABC, where he first conceived his idea. So he knows about storytelling and creating compelling programming. The makes 4th Labs different from most AR production studios which are founded by technology geeks who know very little about creating engaging experiences.

A particular focus of 4th Labs is creating AR experiences for venues (sports stadiums, etc). As the pandemic (hopefully) eases, and venues open back up, venue operators will be looking for new ways to engage fans. Using volumetric capture, 4th Labs will be able to created branded experiences for attendees to enjoy.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have been technologies that so far haven’t quite lived up to the hype (outside of geeks and gamers). 4th Labs is changing that, combining new technology opportunities with film and TV practices, to change the future of AR experiences.

Silicon Valley guy. I teach entrepreneurship at Stanford, run the 4thly Startup Accelerator, and coach startup CEO’s at Miller Center. @bretwaters