What Pokémon Go Means for Enterprise Augmented Reality

Since its release on July 6th, Pokémon Go has become a global phenomenon—with downloads of the mobile app exceeding 75 million within the first three weeks. Many reviewers credit the game’s meteoric success to its innovative use of “Augmented Reality.”

To those of us in the enterprise AR community, of course, Pokémon Go is no more augmented reality than Atari’s 1972 “Pong” arcade game was table tennis. In Pokémon Go, the merging of the virtual and real worlds is confined to the projection of 2D monsters on real-life backgrounds. While it’s a novel effect for a mobile game, it barely scratches the surface of what Augmented Reality can do—or its tremendous potential for enterprises to achieve greater operational efficiencies.

Still, we at the AREA have to view the success of Pokémon Go as an important milestone in the development and adoption of AR for the following reasons:

  • Pokémon Go is familiarizing the world with the basic concept of Augmented Rreality. Hopefully our members can spend less time having to explain what Augmented Reality is—or how it differs from Virtual Reality. Potential customers will already understand the basic concepts and be ready to learn more.
  • Pokémon Go is proving that AR is no longer a futuristic concept. If an AR game is already a commercial success, can widespread enterprise AR solutions be far behind? Companies that had previously taken a wait-and-see approach to AR may now be more motivated to explore the possibilities for their businesses.
  • Pokémon Go is proving that people are engaged and excited by the technology. The game makes it vividly clear that AR is a powerful and compelling tool people enjoy using. That enthusiasm can only help fuel the growth and development of the AR market.

Many media outlets and bloggers agree and are driving the conversation in our direction. Just look at some of these recent headlines:

  • “Is Pokémon Go Really Augmented Reality?”
  • “How Pokémon Go Took Augmented Reality Mainstream”
  • “Why Pokémon Go is a Game Changer for Augmented Reality and Marketers”
  • “Pokémon Go is Nice, But Here’s What *Real* Augmented Reality Will Look Like”

Our challenge now is to leverage the Pokémon Go phenomenon to accelerate the adoption of AR in the enterprise. That means taking the opportunity—as the AREA members Gaia Dempsey of DAQRI and Scott Montgomerie of Scope AR have done recently—to make sure inquiring media outlets understand that the impact of enterprise AR will be even more significant and lasting than the current Pokémon Go craze.

To find out more about the AREA contact Mark Sage, Executive Director.

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