Running a digital agency I always get asked what’s next and how technology will evolve. It’s a tricky question, but my answer can now best be described with the new Pokémon app; let me explain…
I’d like to cast your mind back to 1991 when the second Terminator movie was released. Schwarzenegger was looking at the bikers in the café, and as he did he could see everyone’s vital statistics in his vision. Okay, Schwarzenegger was a cyborg, but what if we could superimpose computer images on top of our view? Well that’s called augmented reality, and that’s where Pokémon come in.
“Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.”
This technology in its basic form has actually been around for a while. Head-up displays in cars, Layar have experimented with augmented reality software, Google Glass have invented a device in the shape of eyeglasses with an inbuilt display, and there are lots of mobile apps that allow you to locate stars and planets. None of these have had the immediate and huge impact that Pokémon Go has.
What Niantic have developed isn’t ground breaking, and it uses only a very minimal form of augmented reality, but the application of it has been phenomenal; you can’t look at your Facebook feed without seeing a post about it.
Pokémon Go has gone viral and in the US now has more users than Twitter 1.
Millions of people are now chasing Pokémon around an augmented reality without even knowing what it is. Some may argue that Pokémon Go isn’t true augmented reality 2, but people are actually getting injured in the real world 3 playing a game on their phone; this really is a link between two realities.
What The Pokémon Company are doing is bringing augmented reality to the masses. It’s basic, and chasing a Pidgey certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a start and this is the world’s biggest leap forward into this technology.
This is where we’re going to be in the future, a world where phones, websites, apps, computers and crucially real life mix.
It may not affect you as an adult now, or have an immediate impact on your business, but one day when you’re looking for a house, and you drive past it and a “for sale” notice pops up on your glasses along with property details, and you can look inside without getting out of your car then think back to Pikachu and his friends and how they’ve helped.
Oh, and we're Webbed Feet UK, we make websites.