The Pokemon Go Effect: AR Is Set To Conquer Professional World

Pokemon GO and future of Augmented Reality

The Pokemon Go Effect: AR Is Set To Conquer Professional World

After the massive success of Pokemon Go, augmented reality concept is set to be applied in industrial settings as well. It’s no secret that factories and all kinds of big industrial machines are getting more and more automated amid the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Pokémon Go was everywhere this past summer. The game’s famous Pokémon critters virtually swarmed cities and landscapes across the world, using geographic localisation technology to position players and the Pokémon, which appear on the screen, with the backdrop of the player’s actual surroundings. Rather than sitting on the couch playing a video game, kids actually went outside and walked around, exploring neighbourhoods they might not ordinarily visit as they simultaneously traversed the real world and the Pokemon world. We can conjure objects into our real world as if by magic with AR, and with Pikachu and friends earning up to $10m per day, R&D departments are searching for the next phase.

Mark Cheben, EON Reality global marketing manager, said the ability to choose a personal path is a powerful model for learning. Augmented reality really drives home key points, he said, giving students the ability to visualise what they are learning, which leads to deeper understanding. And by turning learning into a game, augmented reality allows students to find information on their own while making choices along the way.

“Pokemon’s influence on augmented reality is to make it much more approachable to the average person,” Cheben said. “It isn’t some overly technical or niche thing anymore, like Google Glass. It also has built the acceptance that augmented reality objects don’t have to be rigidly attached to a marker or beacon. Just overlaying of objects onto the world can create compelling and useful experiences” — which in turn can help students recall information.

Safran, a French aerospace multinational company, is also interested in the potential of augmented reality. A company committee has been working on a wide range of possibilities for its use over the past year.

“The technology can help with everything from the engine, onto which you could virtually project the positioning of the pipes the worker needs to assemble, to inspecting the assembly line and even visualizing an entirely new production line in an empty workshop,” says Nicolas Lepape, head of Safran’s virtual and augmented reality project.

At Airbus, augmented reality has been used to develop new airplane models — the A380, A350, and A400M. “It’s a step forward in digitalization,” says Lionel Joussemet, founder of Diota, an augmented reality firm.

Augmented reality will be used in all factories of the future. At Sunna Design, a company that sells solar-powered street lamps to emerging countries, augmented reality is used at its factory in Blanquefort in southwestern France. In Senegal, where Sunna Design expects an order for 35,000 street lamps, augmented reality accelerates the training of local workers while maintaining strict quality control.

AR’s significance was underlined by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella this week, who said the company missed out on the mobile revolution and it won’t fail in such a way again.

“The ultimate computer for me is the mixed reality world,” he said at a WSJD Live interview recently. “Your field of view becomes an infinite display. You see the world and in the world, you see virtual objects and holograms.”

Juniper Research forecasts that the AR market will rise to 2.3bn apps by 2021, representing a 380pc increase from an estimated 482m in 2016.

For boeing researcher Tom Caudell, who first coined the term “augmented reality”, believed it would be adopted across industries such as architecture, automotive design, building construction and even medicine never quite took off in the ways he expected. “There were technical and cultural issues at that time that kept it in the research lab,” he says. “In that sense it was probably ahead of its time.” The pervasiveness and power of smartphones has, however, “drastically opened up the market,” he says.

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