Pokémon Go Shows Industrial Enterprise AR is Poised for Breakthrough

August 25, 2016

Pokémon Go, the worldwide gaming phenomenon, is everywhere.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a polished middle-aged executive or a ten-year-old kid, you are probably playing Pokémon Go. The sustained popularity of this game has certainly been a boon for game producer Niantic. Reports have estimated that the company has seen a bump of over $250 million in revenue since the game launched this summer. But what does that mean for the use of AR in the industrial enterprise?

The game’s most immediate impact is to expose and normalize augmented reality (AR) technology for a majority of the population. Yes, Pokémon Go is a simplified example of the interactivity of AR and it has been a wonderful and creative educational vehicle to enlighten people about what’s possible with AR. What the app does not do is represent AR’s robust capabilities, such as the use of machine learning and computer vision, which is at the core of the AR experience. (For example, Vuforia-enabled apps can recognize a range of everyday objects like books, magazines, toys, product packaging, and more.) AR-city-infrastructure

As Jon Bruner of O’Reilly Media notes in this podcast with PTC’s Steve Ghee, there are plenty of AR apps that exist already for any device that has a camera, like a smartphone or tablet, and that are available now – but that wasn’t always the case. Looking back a few decades, the maturation of the AR market couldn’t exceed the availability of hardware like head mounted displays, advanced graphics cards, and stereo computers. Technologists and builders back in the ‘90s had to build their own hardware solutions, for example.

Fast forward to today and the ingredients of a world-class AR experience are at your fingertips – readily available 3D content in the form of CAD data, a platform for building a publishing AR experiences, and the hardware needed to properly present AR technology. Couple all of this with the extreme interest in industrial AR applications and it is obvious that AR is poised for a breakthrough in the industrial enterprise.

The rapid acceptance of AR and of Pokémon Go is good news for the 67% considering adoption of AR in the enterprise, per a recent study by Tech Pro Research and reported by ZDNet. Earlier this year, we noted that investment firm Goldman Sachs declared AR as a disruptive technology in a report that highlighted the future impact of virtual reality (VR) and AR across a number of industries. The surge in interest around AR that is fueled by Pokémon Go will only hasten the timeline for AR adoption across all sectors.

The Leap to Enterprise Use Cases

The next frontier with AR in the enterprise is understanding what that looks like. Sure, you may understand how to chase down the Pikachu that you see in the cafeteria, but what’s the leap to enterprise-level AR applications that delight your customers and add to your bottom line? Technology site Recode touched on this topic earlier this year, outlining the AR enterprise opportunity in verticals like manufacturing, healthcare, and service.

For those of you who attended LiveWorx, you already know that PTC is well-positioned to offer these verticals the full spectrum platform needed to create and share AR experiences for the industrial enterprise. A perfect example is Sysmex, a PTC customer who uses AR to drive improved operational efficiencies for field service. Learn more about Sysmex by watching this video:

 

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