With Pokémon Go setting a record-shattering pace for free downloads in both Apple and Google Play app stores following its release in the United States, it’s fairly safe to say that Americans are at least curious about the concept of Augmented Reality and the possibilities it brings.
Pokémon Go, however, is only scratching the surface of what can be done with AR, and many tech companies have been waiting and watching for signs that the public is ready to move to the next level with this technology.
Applying Augmented Reality to Business
Although adding AR to a smartphone app is a pretty impressive work of engineering, it’s nothing compared to building an AR machine from the ground up. That’s what companies across the spectrum have been working toward doing in an effort to improve business efficiency and to reduce mistakes in critical industries.
Microsoft, for example, has teamed up with Volvo to develop a virtual showroom using Augmented Reality, where prospective buyers can select features and colors of their future cars. Microsoft is also working hard to form other partnerships that can take advantage of its HoloLens technology. For example, a team effort with Trimble Navigation Ltd. should allow architects and engineers to view 3-D structural models in real time. Microsoft intends to integrate HoloLens technology into their Skype platform so teams can collaborate on product designs in 3-D.
But Microsoft isn’t the only company in the field using Augmented Reality for business. Startup Magic Leap, Inc. has raised nearly $1.4 million and put 600 employees to work on creating a headset that projects a digital world into users’ eyes so it seems to be interacting with real life.
“I would see Pokémon just like I see real people—not looking through a screen,” explained Rony Abovitz, Magic Leap Inc. Chief Executive, in the Wall Street Journal. “You could have small Pokémon running around, hiding behind chairs… it would be pretty epic.”
Although widespread Augmented Reality adoption may start with business, the massive success of Pokémon Go is telling. Consumers are ready for this technology, and that means advertisers need to be prepared to shift focus to brainstorming the most effective ways to reach people as they’re shopping with the help of their AR tech in the near future.