Pokemon Go and The Future of Augmented Reality


AUGUST 11, 2016 – It has become very commonplace to see restaurants and bars advertise that they are a Pokestop. Before July 7 when Pokemon Go was released, such an advertisement would have confused many consumers but since then, it has become a reality around the world.

Pokemon Go, released by Niantic as a mobile app, has become one of the most popular apps ever released. The game involves catching pokemon, going to pokestops, and battling others virtually in gyms. The game has the added novelty of forcing users to travel around to find pokemon and designated locations.

The popularity of the game has been noticed in many industries across the board including the events industry.

On the restaurant and bar level, many owners have taken advantage of their location existing as a stop within the game and have advertised accordingly. Some restaurants have even set up events and provided discounts related to the game.

Even the presidential campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have taken notice. One recent Clinton event in Ohio set up a lure module to attract users who could come to the event to catch rarer pokemon.
But is this just a fad that will die out? To many in the events industry the answer is no. One of the main elements of Pokemon Go which will likely inspire many in the tech industry is the concept of augmented reality. Augmented reality, a close cousin of virtual reality, is the overlay of the virtual world inside the real world. Within Pokemon Go, augmented reality presents itself as pokemon appearing in the real world as the user tries to capture them.

Many in the events industry have noted the popularization of augmented reality due to Pokemon Go. “I am curious to see how and where applications using augmented reality will arrive on the trade show floors, and how fast they can have an impact,” said Kai Hattendorf, the CEO of UFI, The Global Exhibition of the Events Industry. “That they will come, to me is a given. Whether they last, or – like Second Life – are just a ‘flavour of the season’, we will see. For sure it will add even more demand for WiFi capacities at the world’s exhibition venues.”

It is therefore likely that the burgeoning areas of virtual reality and augmented reality will become a must in the world of event technology. Many events have begun to experiment with the concepts and many ideas have been floating around for how such technology can be implemented in the events industry.

For example, for events related to products, augmented reality could allow attendees to get up close looks at the product and notice the different components of each product virtually. Events are also likely to become more personalized as augmented reality could allow attendees to see information about speakers such as their biography and publication list as they are speaking.

Outside of attendee experience, event planners will be able to benefit from innovations in augmented reality and virtual reality as they will be able to diagram events in virtual three dimensional rendering.

Whatever the application of augmented reality and virtual reality is likely to be, it is becoming more and more clear due to apps such as Pokemon Go that the concept of altered reality within everyday technology is going to become mainstream.

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