Legend has it a Pokémon more powerful than any other resides in the California region. Rare sightings have narrowed down the area to Silicon Valley, but attempts to catch it, or indeed stop it, have been foiled. Even the most experienced trainers have come unstuck against this invincible beast. It’s said the creature holds the key to the entire Pokémon universe, perhaps even creating it. The name? AR-izard. And it doesn’t just inhabit the world of Pokémon Go…
AR-izard’s other name is Augmented Reality, and it’s transforming gaming, as demonstrated by the massive popularity of Pokémon Go. According to the latest figures, the game has made $200 million in its first month. The mobile game has prompted thousands across the globe to explore their environments, searching for virtual creatures to catch. Check out the video below for a glimpse into this new cultural phenomenon.
What this demonstrates is people enjoy the concept of AR, allowing the real and virtual worlds to overlap. It offers new possibilities, removing physical boundaries and giving a compelling sense of reality to digitized services and games. The game’s success has led to Apple making plans to invest in the technology, while EA say they feel ‘energized’ by the extraordinary growth of Pokémon Go. Clearly, tech giants which fail to innovate and deploy AR-equipped products and services risk falling behind, especially since AR and VR is set to make $150 billion by 2020.
AR isn’t just having an impact on Pokémon and gaming, however. It’s also capable of changing our city lives for the better.
Making shopping more fun
With the rise of eCommerce, some have questioned the future of stores. With the option to buy anything through your mobile or tablet, is there actually a need for a retailer to conduct their business in a building? However, Augmented Reality can enhance the customer experience inside a shop, connecting the retailer’s digital services and physical environment. The technology could help improve customer loyalty, by allowing them to “catch” visual coupons and loyalty points, thereby improving engagement levels. The retail stores of the future can reap great rewards by merging the physical and digital worlds seamlessly.
Enhancing urban experiences
Augmented Reality could also make cities more engaging for tourists and residents alike. Imagine walking through your city and seeing virtual information displays through your mobile phone (or even smart glasses). Car windshields could display mapping information so you don’t get lost, and these technological advances might even help encourage good citizenship, rewarding those who recycle or vote with a holographic ‘civic trophy’.
Pokémon Go has encouraged young people to get out and about. As a result, it’s important transport systems cater for these digitally-savvy millennials and provide mobile-led travel experiences. Fortunately, progress is being made – more and more transport systems are offering mobile ticketing and digital travel planners. Perhaps in future you’ll be able to see travel information via an AR display on your phone or smart goggles as you walk into a metro station.
But…we need to remember to stay safe
As we’ve discussed on the blog, the downside of Pokémon Go and Augmented Reality is that people can have a tendency to forget about staying safe and secure. It’s important to cross roads safely and be aware of your surroundings at all time. As a result, it’s vital that AR software designers take these issues into account, and encourage people to look up regularly from their devices.
What do you make of the potential of Augmented Reality and Pokémon Go? Let us know by tweeting to us at @GemaltoMobile or by posting a comment below.