We continue our list of 10 digital trends we see impacting our clients’ business during the coming year.
If you haven’t read the first post in the series we recommend you start here: Countdown 10 Digital Trends to Watch in 2017 – #10
7) The New Reality of Augmented Reality
Pokémon GO is a mobile game released in the U.S on July 6, 2016 by Niantic, Inc. Within two days it became the most downloaded app in Apple’s App Store and in Google Play. Also within two days, it had almost as many daily active users as Twitter. The game itself is built on the concept of Augmented Reality, or AR. AR is similar to Virtual Reality (VR), but while VR games place the participant in a completely different environment, AR games merely enhance the participant’s actual physical environment. As such, Pokémon GO has taken aspects of the popular Pokémon card game and has superimposed it on the map of the world. Pokémon GO has already broken all the records in terms of consumer adoption and player activity.
When there are that many people with a shared interest and behaviors, it becomes more than a fan base – it becomes a market. We are just the beginning of this AR phenomenon, and it is much bigger than Pokémon GO. Its mainstream, immediate adoption represents the coming of age for Augmented Reality. In this sense, Pokémon GO marks a cultural shift in how we interact with our everyday reality. The line between real life and digital life is becoming increasingly blurred, and we expect the blurring of those lines to accelerate over the next 12 months. This should be viewed as an opportunity for marketers to evaluate the potential of Augmented Reality as well as Virtual Reality. These technologies are now accessible outside of gaming and will provide new ways to connect with customers and offer unique, memorable interactions. Marketers need to be aware of this and prepare for the shifting paradigm.