If you have left your house at all in the past few days you have probably noticed crowds of people gathering in public places, phones in hand. They’re not tourists and they’re not protestors – they are just really into a new online game! It seems we have gone back to the 90’s with the re-emergence of Pokémon in the form of a new augmented reality game, Pokémon GO.
The Pokémon GO Craze
Pokémon GO is a new mobile app that uses your GPS to make Pokémon appear around you so you can go and catch them. The game encourages you to travel around in the real world to play the game. In that sense, the concept is quite similar to geocaching. Pokémon GO launched on July 6, 2016 and has already surpassed the popular dating app, Tinder, in number of daily users.
What is Augmented Reality?
This concept of bringing an online game and real world interaction together is known as augmented reality. Augmented reality (AR) is defined as a live or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data (Wikipedia). Whereas virtual reality replaces the real-world with a simulated one, augmented reality supplements the real-world.
What This Could Mean for the Future
The popularity of the new Pokémon GO app signifies the beginning of new and powerful AR trends and capabilities. AR has been around for a while now but is still only in its infancy. Various mobile apps, video games and military equipment use augmented reality. So if this is just the beginning, where is AR headed? We can expect to see everything from smart cars and smart homes to realistic and interactive displays, like Magic Leap.
Of course, we are keeping our fingers crossed for fascinating new ways to use AR technology for web design and online marketing!