A lot of people probably haven’t heard of the company Niantic and that is understandable given that until recently it employed only 41 people. Almost everyone in the developed world, however, has heard of its primary product, Pokemon Go. This is the latest technology craze; a game of Travel between Real World and Virtual Reality ?
Where is it ?
You can see people worldwide walking round huddled over their phones looking for cute creatures who have been etched onto real surroundings, often at points of cultural interest.
The inventor was motivated by the dichotomy that whilst children sit watch TV shows featuring children travelling outdoors having adventures they themselves spend most of their time in the house watching TV or playing computer games.
The game has drastically increased the number of children and adults outdoors getting exercise and vital sunlight. The potential drawbacks are that people could be so focused on the game that they might be left vulnerable, at risk of accident or simply failing to see much of the world.
Virtual reality (VR) glasses, which are in the pipeline, might eliminate much of these issues. Bigger problems are that there are always bugs in any program and there are already the inevitable hackers, at present merely cheating on the game but perhaps we will have more sinister interlopers in the future.
A Virtual Image
VR has certainly well and truly hit the mainstream market and everyone is looking for the next step. For Pokemon Go, it seems that the creatures will soon interact with their environment. Outside of the gaming world the possibilities are almost endless. E-commerce development would allow you to virtually try on dozens of outfits using your size and image, for example. Alas of course, the shopper could be bombarded with adverts as they progress along the High Street. On a positive note, geolocation will help you find highly detailed information on businesses you are looking for, this feature is already available at some level, but the improvements are going to be huge.
Educational uses could transform the classroom; people and objects can appear in 3-D right in the room. You might see them in action, dissected or watch an evolutionary progression. It will aid surgery, allowing for a doctor to see a 3-D image of the patient. Military uses will include giving for 3-D maps and this is likely to be an application seized upon as war seems to be for ever profitable.
Everyday life is going to be transformed and it is going to be an interesting journey.
Reuters in an article by David Randall, the latest development of Virtual Reality sees a growing number of U.S. companies are counting on virtual reality for real profits.
With growth hard to come by amid the lethargic economy, companies ranging from snowmobile manufacturers to furniture sellers are incorporating virtual reality that so far has mostly been found in video games. Their bet: that the trendy headset-based technology can help them build sales and cut costs.
29 March 2016 – In its 4th year of releasing TMT predictions with specific relevance to the MENA region, Deloitte continues to supply industry insights based on deep analysis, built around meetings with industry experts and field executives, as well as Deloitte’s proprietary programs of research with tens of thousands of consumers worldwide. Global TMT predictions focused this year on virtual reality, women in IT jobs, cognitive technologies, mobile ad-blockers, mobile games, and Gigabit Internet, European sports, and e-sports.
“A lot of energy has been poured into these predictions, as there are few other industries that are as exciting, fast-evolving, and game changing as TMT. More exciting than this is witnessing the Middle East adopt and create their own trends in the TMT space. Over the past five years, this region has made significant forays in broadband connectivity and speed, which have in turn enabled new categories of service to become mainstream,” said Emmanuel Durou, Partner and Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Leader at Deloitte Middle East.
“In 2016, we look forward to seeing some evergreen ideas finally take flight in the Middle East. These include virtual reality corporate applications, hybrid cloud adoption, or the take-up of cognitive technologies in enterprise software. We also see mobile everywhere – taking over in gaming and now payment with touch commerce,” he added.
The Deloitte TMT Middle East predictions explored in the report include four areas:
Deloitte predicts that most MENA revenues from Virtual Reality (VR) devices and services in 2016 will continue to be driven from video games. According to industry sources, the estimated MENA computer gaming market is currently around US$1.5bn and forecast to grow three-fold by 2020, the majority of which will come from the GCC region.
GCC countries have already witnessed companies beginning to sell commercial enterprise VR solutions and corporates incorporating VR solutions to help sell their products and services. Although currently at a low base, the VR market in the region is expected to grow at a rapid rate, driven as much by the corporate sector as by gaming.
Development of VR technology has spurred a global race to identify and capture the next major market opportunities. However VR still faces technological and user experience challenges before it can make the transition to mainstream adoption. So, will VR crossover from niche to mainstream? It is predicted that it eventually could, but not yet.
Deloitte predicts that mobile driven commerce will enter into mainstream in 2016 in the Middle East. The early success stories of app based payment such as mPay seem to be a case in point. However, the pace of adoption of mobile enabled commerce will differ greatly depending on the underlying technology. While Near Field Communication (NFC) is taking time to gain traction, Deloitte predicts a promising customer uptake of touch commerce, depending of the pace of rollout by ecommerce and payment platforms in the region.
However it will take some time before touch commerce becomes mainstream and displaces cash-on-delivery as the number one payment method for online shopping in the region.