The immersion of augmented reality into the daily lives of consumers can be split into two – before and after Pokemon Go.
Before Pokemon Go, augmented reality becoming widely accepted was just a dream of advertisers. Today the idea of incorporating digital elements (like cute and fuzzy Pokemons) through our hand held devices and seeing them in our real world is exciting and new and most importantly, accepted by mainstream consumers.
Already in 2008 the first augmented reality was launched, however it wasn’t until 2011 when advertising powerhouses such as Disney and Toyota tried to integrate augmented reality into their advertisements. No matter who the brand, what the product, or how cool the ad, augmented reality just didn’t pick up with mainstream consumers.
All that changed this past month when Niantic unveiled Pokemon Go with unexpectedly little buzz. Despite the lack of pomp and glory, Pokemon Go has quickly become one of the most viral sensations of the summer, taking people out of their homes and into the streets to capture as many Pokemons as they can. In becoming a viral sensation and altering the augmented reality learning curve, Pokemon Go has single-handedly changed the safe of augmented reality, and in doing so, changed the future of advertising for years to come.
With Pokemon Go, Niantic has created an instant desire by consumers to intertwine what they see through their screen with what they see in real life – an act that augmented and virtual reality giants like Oculus and Samsung have tried to do for several years with the launch of their augmented reality lenses.
By bringing augmented reality to the mainstream consumer, Pokemon Go bypassed the need to purchase pricey augmented reality gear and gave the average consumer the chance to try and love this new technology. By simplifying the access and reducing the price barrier, Niantic has given digital advertisers rekindled hope that their dream of augmented reality integrated campaigns can become a reality sooner rather than later.
The result of the widespread acceptance of the augmented reality offered by Pokemon go will likely increase the availability of games that utilize mobile cameras as well as open up the digital advertising world to unlimited possibilities. Instead of struggling to take online ads to an offline location, advertisers will now be able to be a part of the journey consumers take from the moment they see an ad in the comforts of their own home, and all the way until they complete a purchase or visit a storefront.