Has Pokemon Go created a new business reality?

Elise Barter

Since the launch of Pokémon Go on 6 July, Nintendo has realised a crazy increase on their share price. If Nintendo, a business I (probably wrongly) perceived as limping along since Mario Kart, can use Augmented Reality (AR) to drive up the value of their business, what is the potential impact of AR on other activities and in today’s new business reality?

Firstly, what is AR? The definition from Mashable* states that:

“Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.”

My favourite bit comes next:

“With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition), the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable.”

Cool, yeah?

The opportunities are endless – which got me a bit panicky about how I should react and what my clients might do. To help get your thoughts started, a bit of info from my own brain and research has revealed….

Under Product Business

1. Product visualisation: Bring showrooms to customers. Allow a child to walk around a new teddy bear, match your customers makeup to their skin-type or show customers what that couch will look like in their living room.

2. Product information: Provide information such as price or nutritional info by scanning a product rather than a barcode or putting a label on it.

3. In-store navigation: Show customers the fastest route to their product and enhance the experience with sales and special offers.

4. Advertising: Use AR games to advertise your product in an augmented way. Check out Microsoft’s HoloLens at https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us – a great thought starter.

Under Service Businesses

1. Information: Augment a proposal with interactive media e.g. list case studies on previously similar work and deep dive into pricing or enable clients to chat with a consultant.

2. Presentations: Deliver a presentation where people can point on things that interest them and get a rich array of data in different forms, or solve problems. It becomes an individual experience for everyone.

3. Efficiency: Zurich Insurance is looking at developing an SOS card to put on car dashboards. When scanned (in case of an accident), the AR app could help you find a garage and record details of the other party.

4. Remote guidance: IT Support is starting to look at AR to scan IT errors and provide a solution without even having to call.

Under People Performance (couldn’t leave this out)

1. Education: Tailor learning to different learning styles – visual, oral, reading, writing and kinaesthetic – all in one medium.

2. Training: Your chef can practice preparing meals without the ingredients, mechanics can put together virtual car engines and doctors could even practice surgery. Zurich is looking to AR to train 10,000 managers.**

3. New ways of working: Flexible work means new ways of working. AR can help remote workers with support and warehouse personnel won’t ever have to search for a product again.

Daqri, has developed a Smart Helmet*** enabling enhanced learning and connection to the environment using augmented reality. They’ve developed a set of AR-enhanced educational wooden blocks that display the periodic table elements. When viewed through a table app, the blocks appear to chemically react with one another. For example, pushing the sodium block next to the chlorine block causes both blocks to become NaCl (salt).

And for those Bounty Hunters out there, it can also help you catch murderers.****

It’s time to get started thinking about what AR can do for today’s new business reality and build it into your strategy. The challenge is making it useful to “enhance” your client and customer experience. Throw too many gimmicks at it and you’ll lose the investment and respect you’ve worked so hard to get.





Elise Barter, Co-Founder and Principal Consultant, www.indium4.com