Pokemon Go is Game Changer For Augmented Reality

Pokemon Go ()

Pokemon Go ()

Pokémon Go is the newest viral sensation taking the digital world by storm. In its relatively short history the smartphone app has racked up over 100 million downloads across Apple and Android devices. It even broke a record by reaching 50 million downloads in just 19 days, surpassing some of the all-time greats like Angry Birds and Candy Crush. The game’s resounding popularity has tugged at the hearts of adults who watched the Japanese Cartoon in the 90s and kids who have access to smartphones to play it.

But Pokémon Go is more than just a game. It’s arguably the first widely accepted and free platform to use augmented reality. The game ties AR and location based services to create a worldwide scavenger hunt in which users attempt to “catch ‘em all.”

More importantly, it opens the door for a new wave of augmented reality apps to flourish. It’s a brief insight into the technology of the future. Mobile developers will use the foundation established by Pokémon Go as the go to paradigm for launching both new and re-introduced gaming titles.

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Electronic Arts (EA) are already believed to be integrating augmented reality into coming offerings. The newest addition to the Star Wars franchise, set to launch next year, will combine elements of AR and VR technology.

Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL) are secondary winners from the ongoing shift. For one, both companies receive kickbacks from sales generated by their respective app stores. This includes in-app purchases, premium content and other add on features. More importantly it’s an opportunity for Apple and Google to develop immersive AR/VR strategies. Google recently nixed its standalone headset akin to Facebook’s (FB) Oculus in order to devote more resources to mobile AR.

The future of augmented reality is much more than catching Pokémon in your living room. Instead it means doctors can pull up health records on the fly or firefighters can identify structural vulnerabilities in case of an emergency.

Even the industrial sector could benefit from augmented reality. Some estimates believe the technology could to reduce repair times by 10%, a feat worth around $50 billion to industrial companies like General Electric (GE). If engineers can visualize problems and potential solutions, they can fix them correctly the first time.

There are also a number of consumer cases too, including retail and marketing. In a world of targeted ads, where firms track your every move, this will add another layer of potential revenue.

Unfortunately, Pokémon GO also shines a light on future security and privacy issues. Originally, the app allowed Niantic, the creator of Pokémon Go, to access player’s full Google accounts. This raises questions about what privacy measures will need to be taken when more sensitive information is monitored.

Furthermore, an increasing amount of security breaches and server outages are becoming an imminent threat. Pokémon Go continues crash as it becomes available in more countries. Experts are also calling the app a huge security risk and a hacker’s dream. Future adoption of augmented reality will be useless unless developers can secure their apps and products in a way that doesn’t leave users vulnerable.

Pokémon Go is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to augmented reality. It has offered us a primitive glimpse into the technology of tomorrow. And while the game may be a fad, the technology behind it is not. Augmented reality is here to stay.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Trevir Nath

Trevir Nath graduated in 2011 from Rutgers University with a Bachelors in Economics & Psychology. His Psychology and Economics degrees increased his understanding of financial markets from a human behavior perspective. Looking to further his understanding of financial markets, he went on to obtain his Masters in Economics from the New School graduating in May 2014. He currently writes about personal finance, investing and its interaction with technology. His work also appears for numerous financial websites including Investopedia.

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