Augmented Reality and its Future Implications

Pokemon Go, named one of the most successful mobile apps ever, has been one of the biggest crazes to interest adults and children alike during the summer of 2016.

What is it?

Pokemon Go, developed by Nintendo and Niantic and compatible with Apple and Android products, allows players to “catch” Pokemon characters in their real world setting. Since its release to the public on July 6th, the game has grown exponentially in popularity and is currently used by 21 million people. In fact, Pokemon Go has been installed on more Android smartphones in the US the dating app Tinder, (5.16 % of phones as compared to 2.0% phones for Tinder) (Price, Rob) and 3 % of Android users use this game on a daily basis (Price, Rob).

pokemon-go-vs-tinder

pokemon-go-daily-active-users

View this short video to see how Pokemon Go can allow you to explore the existing world in a totally new light:

Source: Discover Pokemon Go in the Real World with Pokemon Go. The Pokemon Youtube Channel.

What makes Pokemon Go so special?

Pokemon Go leverages augmented reality, which helps to enhance current environments through the imposition of digital imagery (Bonsor, Kevin). Augmented reality adds graphics, sounds, and smell to your natural world (Bonsor, Kevin).

Often times, augmented reality is compared to virtual reality. The primary difference between these two technologies is that VR creates an entirely new environment for the user (Bonsor, Kevin), while augmented reality allows users to leverage technology that they already have and use on a daily basis like that of Pokemon Go (Blake, Paul).

History of Augmented reality:

Interestingly, Pokemon Go is not the first use of augmented reality across industries. In fact, in 1990, Boeing, highlighted a similar concept when the company developed an electronic system that helped workers install electrical cables and fuselage to aircrafts (Yu, Howard). After Boeing, VW started to use an app that adds “additional visual labels” to help aid the mechanics fix issues in their vehicles (Yu, Howard). Google Glass is also a well known example of augmented reality(Yu, Howard). As you can see, augmented reality is a not a concept that is new to industry. However, due to Pokemon Go’s popularity, it is a technology that has gained in interest and will soon be more commonplace throughout the elements of business.

Industry Uses:

Augmented reality has the potential to help improve business in a number of ways, and, according to Yahoo Finance, is forecasted to reach $100.24 Billion by the year 2024.

Such ways that businesses can utilize augmented reality include:

Meetings: 

Augmented reality has been highlighted in its way it could change meetings and communication in the working world (Uzialko, Adam). In current day, working across geographic locations has been a major challenge faced by businesses today, especially as companies are getting more and more global. Email communication is not as effective as face to face communication, often resulting in dozens of back and forth emails, which could be solved by one 15 minute meeting. This notion would be an impossible feat if you work in an organization that has 12 or 13 locations across the entire globe! However, the implications of augmented reality could change the way employees connect across geographic distances (Uzialko, Adam) and could allow for employees to be “transported” from one location to another, enhancing meetings and improving productivity across organizations (Uzialko, Adam).

Retailers:

A recent Harvard Business Review article, entitled “Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Shape Retail,” discusses the implications of augmented reality in the retail setting. This technology can change how people shop. This technology will allow consumers to really and truly try out products before they purchase them. For example, IKEA has started to use augmented reality in its retail stores (see image below). Consumers can see how specific furniture elements will look in their own home without leaving the store and make a purchase judgment based on the absolute specifications of their individual home. Furthermore, according to this article, augmented reality can also help to elevate the shopping experience by eliminating customer pain points, elevating customer service, and creating a personalized customer experience (McKone, Dan; Haslehurst, Robert; Steingoltz, Maria).

ikea

Marketing

In Marketing, augmented reality allows for companies and brands  to have a more interactive, transparent, and constant relationship with their consumers. Through augmented reality, a company can enhance consumers’ current environments and bring awareness to brands in everyday situations (Uzialko, Adam). For example, if a person is walking down the street near a store, similarly to how an iphone can notify you when an app may be useful based on location, a brand could add notifications to customers as they are in proximity to a store. The result of this can also help close the gap between online and offline shopping (Uzialko, Adam).

marketing-ar

This image highlights the benefit of virtual reality. Through the image, you can see retail stores that are closest to ones’ current location, helping to improve brand recognition and awareness.

Other Industries:

Augmented reality can be beneficial across a number of different industries. For example, two industries that may benefit from augmented reality include construction and education. With construction, a plan may be developed for a new house on an empty plot of land. Through augmented reality, the construction company can develop a prototype of what the house will look like in the future (Yoders, Jeff). A customer can decide how they like the house prior to the home’s construction and can determine any changes upfront, helping to save time and money (Yoders, Jeff). In addition, augmented reality would enhance the learning process. Studies have shown that augmented reality can make training and learning more immersive (Brandt, Chris). For example, if you are learning about the brain in a Human Anatomy class, a teacher, through augmented reality, can add 3D images of a heart to the classroom (Brown, Patricia). This will help making learning more interactive and more engaging to students, who nowadays are inundated with elements of technology in their day to day life.

See this video for highlights on augmented reality in the classroom:

 Future Use:

In an interview with ABC, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, highlights the endless implications of augmented reality. It allows users to be more present in their current environment (Blake, Paul), and has the capability to enhance the world we live in in a multitude of capacities across many different industries. It will be interesting to see how augmented reality improves and enhances itself over the years to come and how businesses will have to curtail their business models to leverage this type of technology.

Sources:

  1. Yu, Howard. What Pokemon Go Really Means for the Future of Augmented Reality. http://fortune.com/2016/07/23/pokemon-go-augmented-reality/
  2. Yoders, Jeff. How is Augmented Reality Being Used in Construction? https://redshift.autodesk.com/what-is-augmented-reality/
  3. Price, Rob. Pokemon Go is already bigger than Tinder, and it’s about to overtake Twitter. http://www.businessinsider.com/pokmon-gobigger-than-tinder-overtake-twitter-similarweb-data-stock-price-nintendo-niantic-2016-7. 11 July 2016.
  1. McKone, Dan, Haslehurt Robert, Steingoltz, Maria. Virtual and Augmented Reality will Reshape Retail. https://hbr.org/2016/09/virtual-and-augmented-reality-will-reshape-retail. 9 Sept 2016.
  1. Perry, Georgia. Imagination in the Augmented-Reality Age. http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/08/play-in-the-augmented-reality-age/494597/. 4 Aug 2016
  1. Uzialko, Adam. Augmented Reality Check: Innovative Ways Businesses are Embracing AR. http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9245-augmented-reality-for-business.html 18 July 2016
  1. Brandt, Chris. Pokemon Go, Augmented Reality, and Education: Innovation in Learning. http://www.universityherald.com/articles/40916/20160918/pokemon-go-augmented-reality-and-education.htm. 18 Sept 2016
  1. Brown, Patricia. How to Transform Your Classroom with Augmented Reality. https://www.edsurge.com/news/2015-11-02-how-to-transform-your-classroom-with-augmented-reality. 2 Nov 2015.
  1. Augmented Reality to be Worth $100 Billion by 2024. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/augmented-reality-worth-100-billion-211200776.html;_ylt=A0LEV7g9QNxXIDkAuI4nnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTE0anRnZ284BGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDRkZVSTNDMV8xBHNlYwNzYw– 15 Sept 2016
  1. Blake, Paul and Polidoro, Ronnie. Exclusive: Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Prefers Augmented Reality Over Virtual Reality. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/exclusive-apple-ceo-tim-cook-prefers-augmented-reality/story?id=42064913. 14 Sept 2016.
  1. Heisler, Yoni. Apple’s interest in Augmented Reality heats up two new hires. http://bgr.com/2016/09/17/augmented-reality-apple-hires/
  1. Miles, Stuart. Pokemon Go: 11 amazing, mind-boggling facts about the AR game. http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/138201-pokemon-go-11-amazing-mind-boggling-facts-about-the-ar-game. 14 July 2016
  1. Bonsor, Kevin. How Augmented Reality Works. http://computer.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm.

8 comments

  1. Great post! I assumed someone would blog about the summer Pokemon Go craze at some point, but I really like that you moved the focus more toward augmented reality in general. The Pokemon Go app took over for a bit, I would see people playing on the streets everywhere I went. It was kind of cool to see so many groups of people outside playing together… on their phones. Augmented reality is definitely going to change things and I’m curious to see how. The “retailers” section you included was really interesting, the way Ikea is using augmented reality is wild, I didn’t know that already existed. It will be interesting to see where augmented reality takes us in just a few years.

  2. Mark Zuckerberg has also stated the has high levels of interest in Augmented Reality for longterm projects. Snapchat is another company that has used AR tech in a very lucrative way by creating lenses, filters, and geotags that can now be sponsored by companies for ad revenue. IKEA is definitely on to something by using the technology to see how the furniture looks in the homes of their customers, I’d never heard of this feature until reading this. Great post overall

  3. mikeknoll98 · ·

    Interesting post, I really enjoyed the part about Augmented Reality’s use in construction. This reminds me of what Nike does in their Nike ID for shoes. While it is not Augmented Reality, I could totally see them moving towards having it in their stores to create a better customer experience. I believe the uses are limitless and could see car companies and clothing lines using this same methods IKEA does in testing customer homes.

  4. Really nice post. We were going to discuss Pokemon go this week in class, but I changed it up a bit (I thought the case was a bit boring). Personally, I’m really excited for the potential of AR, though. I think once companies figure it out, the impact is going to be huge.

  5. rohansuwarna · ·

    I really enjoyed reading this! This was an insane Summer with Pokemon Go’s breakthrough. I would go to a local park ever other night in the Summer and I would always see children and adults running around catching Pokemon or finding Gyms to battle in! However, I feel like Niantic needs to release something new within the App to keep the popularity up and increasing just because I feel like the user base is decreasing.

  6. holdthemayo4653 · ·

    I loved how you applied augmented realized to many different industries and functions. I think it will be much easier for the consumer base to accept augmented realized over virtual reality as it is a small step in the same direction. It’s great that what started out as a children’s game craze has opened people’s eyes and receptivity to innovation.

  7. emilypetroni14 · ·

    There’s a great TED talk video about augmented reality with Alex Kipman https://www.ted.com/talks/alex_kipman_the_dawn_of_the_age_of_holograms?language=en. He talks about the Microsoft Hololens and being able to “teleport” people from one place to another using special computers and glasses. I have had the opportunity to test out the device and “stepping into” construction sites, and it is amazing. I’m sure a decade from now we will all be using these devices and “standing” right next to the person we are on the phone with.

  8. Tyler O'Neill · ·

    I truly enjoyed reading your article and how different industries have used and are planning on using augmented reality in the future. It definitely seems like there is an incredibly huge spectrum of uses for AR in the future. I think AR provides an incredible opportunity for future growth in the fields, especially marketing. Part of me is excited to see how AR will grow in the future, but at the same time the thought of AR growing in prevalence makes me nervous. If we can modify our reality does that take away from actual reality and human interaction?

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