The Mainstreaming Of Augmented Reality: A Brief History

by MR Magazine Staff

The launch of Pokémon Go this summer was a huge success—both for the gaming industry and for Augmented Reality (AR). After launching in July 2016, the game hit its peak in August of almost 45 million users. Despite the fact that Niantic, the American software development company that developed Pokémon Go, has failed to maintain high levels of engagement on the game (its current user base is now 30 million users), the phenomenon demonstrated AR’s potential to be adopted by mainstream culture. In a previous piece I discussed why some AR apps are destined to be forgotten as gimmicks, and what mistakes marketers should avoid when trying to deploy them. But it is just as important to ask: What has contributed to AR’s increasing success? Aside from complex technological advances (e.g., mobile devices are now powerful enough to handle AR software and tracking systems), three other elements have enabled the mass adoption of AR apps: 1) meaningful content, 2) convincing and realistic interaction of the virtual with the physical environment, and 3) unique value that goes beyond what other technologies deliver. Read more at Harvard Business Review.