How augmented reality is taking hold in the Capital Region

Plus: a diner that doubles as an esports venue; adapting professionalism to a casual age; a startup automating gruntwork; and ways to move up in a new position

By: Jennifer Fergesen

The phrase “augmented reality” may conjure up images of a science-fiction future, but AR is already part of our lives. Think Zoom filters, shopping apps that let you try on clothes and makeup, or even the seven-year-old fad Pokemon Go — all of these allow users to filter reality through an augmented lens. 

Will Brown, CEO of the Sacramento-based startup InterApp, sees wide potential for the technology. “I think AR provides a unique engagement experience that you can’t get from other technologies,” he says. “With Facebook and Instagram, you’re on your phone and scrolling through content. But AR allows you to get your head up from your phone and interact with the world around you.”

Learn how companies in the Capital Region — including sports teams and a storied wine brand — are leveraging AR to connect with customers in this week’s feature story. 

Here’s the rest of the Capital Region Rundown: 

We visit a former diner that has transformed into an esports venue (but still serves waffles); the Evil HR Lady fields a query from an enthusiastic new hire who’s already thinking about moving up in the company; our May Startup of the Month talks artificial intelligence and how automation can change every line of work; and musings on the rules and mores of “new professionalism.” 

Recommendations from our editors:

In this section we editors share what we’re reading, listening to, watching or even eating. Here’s what we’re consuming this week:

Judy: A lot of eyes will be on the NBA playoffs this Saturday when the Sacramento Kings face the Golden State Warriors in the first round Saturday night. Kings fans really didn’t want to face the defending champs, and the predictions are all over the board with some saying the Warriors are a 9-point favorite and taking the series in seven games. That’s actually a compliment if sports pundits think the Kings can challenge Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for seven games and not be blown out. In any case, this should be a fun series with sports analysts calling it a battle of the gunslingers: five of the players on both the Warriors and Kings are among the top 5-point shooters in the NBA.

Jennifer: This Easter, I made a torta pascualina, a traditional Italian dish that’s basically a giant spinach pie in an olive oil crust. It gets its wow factor from the whole raw eggs you crack into wells in the filling, so when you slice it you see the bright yellow yolks like in a Chinese moon cake. Though the name means Easter pie, it makes a lovely vegetarian centerpiece any time of year. The New York Times recipe works great. 

Odds and Ends

We’ve extended our deadline for Young Professionals nominations to Friday, April 28. Please take a few minutes to nominate a mover and shaker age 40 or under who inspires you. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the magazine to stay up to date on the region’s business trends, and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for daily stories and extras. 

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