AR and VR: which lesson have we learned from Pokemon Go

AR and VR: which lesson have we learned from Pokemon Go

It has been the meteor of summer 2016: Pokemon Go in the short time went viral, just as quickly to drop. What lesson have we learnt from Nintendo‘s game?

Augmented reality ready for mass market

Pokemon Go AR lesson

First of all that augmented reality and virtual reality technologies (AR/VR) are ready to be “mass market” and probably won’t be relegated to videogames or entertainment apps alone.But also that AR/VR technologies alone don’t change the rules.

Pokemon Go stalled out quickly since, despite some good ideas (like to have the whole world as your playground, leading players to better “discover” territory around themselves) it suffered from technical problems and too poor gameplay rules to be able to fascinate for a long time.

Pokemon Go got us thinking about where AR/VR is going and how it cann be more profitable. According to a recent Datamation‘s report, at least 5 trends are sufficiently clear by now.

Augmented reality and virtual reality trends

First of all, AR market will growth fast, even more than the VR market: AR/VR market whould be worth $150 billion by 2020 (hardware and software), AR will make up $120 billion of the market share, VR about $30 billion.

If you also think about the controversy that VR has brought with it since Second Life debut (“it estranges from the reality”, “it brings to life a fictitious experience”, “it prevents from having authentic social relationships” etc) to me it looks like the AR, not being an immersive and therefore “alienating” technology, will meet less resistances than the VR.

Furthermore, while VR is set to be linked to headsets (both that they are connected to personal computer, like Oculus Rift or Htc Vive, both to game consoles like PlaystationVR, both smartphones, like Samsung Gear or Google Daydream), despite AR can see the development of headset like Microsoft Hololens, will essentially be a mobile technology.

Augmented reality is good for smartphones

Google Tango

That’s because, actually, VR is already smartphone-compatible and already there are some AR-mobile service like Google Tango (which will be integrated in the new Lenovo Phab2 smartphone) or product like iPhone 7 that with its dual cameras seems to be the first real AR integrated smarpthone.

Part of the reason mobile AR will be so successful is due to its practical use, starting from marketing which we are already seeing the first applications even for the retail market. But think about the day, not too far, when you will be ablo to scan with your smartphone logos and products to learn more about them the company manifactures, their features or their prices.

Beside marketing the AR (and to a lesser extent the VR) is going to impact on the way of doing business, for instance by making much easier and cheaper design, maintenance,  the information flow between diffent funtions and offices.

Many people suspect actually that no matter how popular AR can be for consumers, its success will also depend on whether or not it will be popular in the business world.

Lots of different AR platforms

AR platforms

Finally, probaly AR’s success will depend on not referring to just one or a few platforms, as it happened for pcs and smartphones, it will be used through a multitude of both proprietary both opensource platforms.

That may not be true for VR, which depending more heavily from hardware could create an oligopoly similar to the one existing for smartphones (where Apple, Google and Samsung dominate the market).

You know: Pokemon Go’s one hit wonder give us a lot of better informations regarding where AR/VR is going.

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