I did three interviews about Pokemon Go this summer, and in each interview I talked at-length about the “Black Swan” moment that was occurring with augmented reality’s (AR) rapid adoption and awareness.
None of those quotes made it into the coverage, which honestly kind of bummed me out.
However, we’re already seeing Pokemon Go’s impact on the acceptance and excitement about a digital layer atop the real world (aka mixed reality) become rationalized in hindsight — as if this was an expected adoption by the mainstream.
So it’s no surprise that Tim Cook — maker of the super computer in each of our pockets that can pull that digital layer atop the world wherever we go — is bullish for AR and what’s next.
PREDICTION: We’re going to see publishers and brands start building AR layers into their mobile apps yet in 2016. Then in 2017 this trend is going to be so overblown and undervalued (although hitting even more of the mainstream than Pokemon) that there will be a constriction of use with occasionaly sparks of genius utility and creativity. By Q3 2017 — a year from today — a handful of perfectly placed solutions will finally demonstrate the full breadth (and limits) of AR in marketing, utility and culture.
Augmented reality — games and applications that impose digital imagery over real-life video — has exploded onto the consumer tech scene in recent months, most notably with this summer’s hit mobile video game Pokémon Go, which overlays the game’s characters onto images taken in real time from the camera on the player’s phone.
It stands in contrast to virtual reality, which often employs a special headset and only digital imagery, which does not depend on the environment around the user. Virtual reality has been championed by news companies like ABC News and The New York Times, who have used it to tell immersive stories in ways not available in traditional media.
While Pokémon Go and other AR apps are currently available for Apple’s iPhone, Apple itself has not yet produced any of its own AR or VR products.