With the final sprint in full swing, the six finalist teams for the RIoT Your Reality AR Challenge are working hard on perfecting their product and pitches for a chance to win up to $40k in prizes and a spot in the RIoT Accelerator Program (RAP). The event, made possible by collaboration with the City of Raleigh, Facebook Reality Labs and US Ignite, is more than your average pitch night – it’s an AR innovation extravaganza! 

The past few weeks have not been without challenges, with each team facing unique obstacles and opportunities as they take a deeper dive into their projects. With the initial $1000 grant helping kickstart each team’s ideations, now each team is working through their project’s advancements and refining their pitch to prepare for the final event on July 27th at Raleigh Founded at Gateway in downtown Raleigh. Reserve your spot here! 

Rich Camacho, founder of BlueRecruit, describes his efforts with his project, BlueCareer, which aims to provide advanced skill training to blue collared workers via an AR program. With an initial focus on solar installation training, Rich has worked to develop his project through shadowing contractors while capturing high resolution video content to use in the AR training program. With the precarious nature of the job, with most solar installations being on rooftops, Rich states his main challenge is filming the content safely and effectively. With the help of a rock climbing safety equipment and 360 degree compilation of go pro cameras, Rich has achieved incredible progress on his program.  

Olivia Cleveland, project lead of OurTown: Raleigh by DOUBTLESS, explains her challenges developing an AR experience aimed to elevate the voices and stories of Raleigh both past and current. As she is working by herself, Olivia says her main challenge revolves around keeping herself on schedule while researching and learning new technology to develop her project. 

Tony Wild, managing director of Wild Portals, is utilizing AR in a similar way to create an immersive experience attached to sports, events and history in Raleigh. With the help of the initial grant, the team was able to create one fully augmented reality experience that can be activated through a phone. With the project, Tony describes the biggest challenge being the initial idea of the experience and narrowing the scope to the most important history and people living in Raleigh. 

Cyrene Quiamco, better known as CyreneQ and creator of award winning AR snapchat filters, is now leveraging her platform and skills to create immersive AR learning tools with the idea to transform any room into a fully equipped classroom. With the first grant helping fund AR software materials, Cryene explains her main challenge was deciding which age group to focus on for initial product development. She decided on 9th grade as the age group is already familiar with Tiktok and Snapchat which helps create a seamless integration of Cyrene’s technology into their learning experience. 

Andrew Prince, CEO of LiRA, describes the development with his program that improves communication for voice-impaired individuals by translating lip motions into text. His team’s impressive progress over the past few weeks includes hiring 8 funded internship positions as well as releasing an updated version of their data collection software, LipTrain. Andrew states his main issues now revolve around creating effective advertising campaigns to increase traffic to their website and boost engagement with LipTrain. 

Derek Rowe, project lead of NatureXR, is working hard on his sustainable development tool aimed at strategically building water gardens for storm/rainwater management. As Derek describes, “When it comes to building infrastructure there has been a gap for a long time between economic or environmental projections on 2D schematics on a piece of paper and the most important part,  ‘What will it look like? Will it be useful, and beautiful?!’” AR visualization helps close this gap. With this, he mentions the primary challenge being accessing a network of experienced professionals to provide perspective and investments as the AR industry is still so new.

RIoT is exceptionally proud of each team’s hard work and dedication to creating AR solutions benefitting the Raleigh community. With this, the RIoT team is excited to mingle with our community and experience the energy of a live audience safely.  Keeping in mind those in our community who are still at risk or have loved ones they are protecting, we ask our amazing RIoT community to commit to observe all local safety precautions.