The New Augmented World . . .
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 ?
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.
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.