AR is making a huge comeback through Pokemon Go and Snapchat!

AR is making a huge comeback through Pokemon Go and Snapchat!

Media Pundits who are now celebrating the success of Pokemon Go had all but written it off after the debacle of ‘Google Glass’. It was hailed by the media as the product that was to bring AR into the mainstream and dispel the myth that AR belonged to haloed conference halls, game conventions, and tech events. However, when it was sent back to the drawing board for a redo, it was very disappointing for speculators who moved on and declared VR as the future.

The launch of Pokemon Go, however, has led to a renewed interest in the field of AR. It has become clear that what can drive adoption of the AR ecosystem is exciting content and the solitary focus on wearables and tech will not work. The lesson to be learned from Pokemon go is that it is essential to develop content that is in synergy with the tech platform that it supports.

Nintendo has struck the perfect chord with audiences as the content of the franchise perfectly supported the mobile AR ecosystem (Pokedex as a parallel to the phone). The lovable characters of the Pokemon gameverse that inhabit the world and the existing story arc of the Pokemon franchise where trainers travel around the city to capture and battle Pokemon are in sync with the game mechanics of AR which require real world interaction.

AR has also made its presence felt in social media through Snapchat which is experimenting with Augmented Reality filters and lenses. These lenses overlay animations on a user’s face with fun and wacky concepts. Although many look at these lenses as a sideshow, it may well be something of a mainstay in the future. Snapchat is one of the very few companies to successfully monetize AR through its sponsored lenses (Have projected a $100 million revenue according to Business Insider)  where companies can create customized interaction that incorporates their branding.

Snapchat AR filters

Image Courtesy: TechCrunch

AR is being seen as a novel way to get people to interact with the brand without being ‘preachy’ or ‘uncool’. This kind of interaction that is ‘integrated’ and not ‘forced’ is the future of branding and is unparalleled as a form of social currency.


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