Pokemon Go offers a superb combination of GPS technology and AR trickery.

I had an opportunity to attend the Pokemon Go Phenomenon of AR Gets Real panel during media day at CES.  The panel was comprised of speakers to talk about AR, VR, and MR reality.

  • Ariella Lehrer, Ph. D – Legacy Interactive and Legacy Games
  • Brian Marr – Smashing Ideas
  • Don Daglow – 4thRing
  • Jerri Lynn Hogg – Fielding Graduate University
  • Keyvan Peymani – Touch Down Ventures
  • Matthew Short – Accenture Technology Labs

They started off by explaining the differences between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).  With augmented reality you have the reality of the world around you is manipulated and tech is integrated into it.  Virtual reality gives full occlusion of the screen and has more random content.  They predicted that all devices will end up being mixed reality (MR) to where we are wearing a device but we will integrate the current world into it, like having the ability to see ourselves in it.

They spoke briefly about Pokemon Go experience and how it is loosely AR.  In a sense, it’s helping those who are unfamiliar with AR technology and making a simple way to integrate into it.  The growth of Pokemon go from a small company Niantic created a wonderful and easy to use application that exposed the world to AR technology.

Where VR and AR technology will be beneficial for medical and mechanical workforces is to have more accurate simulations of the job.  This will benefit the kinesthetic learning by being more hands on.  Also, learning is reinforced because visuals enhance engagement and emotion which will help make it easier to retain what’s being learned.  Where we are at right now with the tech out there is big bulky and heavy headsets that have an incredibly high price point.  An average user would only want to wear it for about 20 minutes as opposed to an 8-12 hour training session.

There was an interesting point brought up about the impact on social engagement.  What is missing at the moment is the ability to transcend into the VR space as a group.  It could also eventually take away from real social interaction.  To design these games the designer almost has to take themselves out of their own reality to do it and the user ends up doing the same as well.

Overall it will be interesting to see where the technology will go but as of right now it still has a long way.

For more information, visit pokemongo.nianticlabs.com.
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