Remember the 45 year–old-man fervently chasing around an imaginary creature in the middle of the local park? Well, it was all about Pokémon Go, the frenzy that captured 65 million people in the summer of 2016. Augmented reality (AR) has always been thought of as a technology of the future; however, the gaming industry has proven that it is a technology capable of being utilized today. We see that with Google’s new Maps update where they have an excited virtual fox leading you to your destination.
We have now overcome the barriers of entry to AR such as processing power, specialized hardware, and expensive devices. So why hasn’t AR become a commonplace technology? Because we have not been able to overcome the old archetypal way of thinking. For generations, we have viewed the physical and the digital as two interconnected but fundamentally separate sources of information. We’re so used to consuming data, graphs and animation through a digital screen that for most of us the thought of a pie chart or a Teletubby appearing in our real surroundings, is still absurd. For businesses to experience the full potential of AR and its power in bridging the gap between the two worlds, they need to move past this dichotomy, into a world where the integration between the physical and the digital worlds is seamless.