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Guest Column: Is Augmented Reality only for collaborative gaming? – Santanu Ghatak, Ziox Mobiles

09-September-2016
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Guest Column: Is Augmented Reality only for collaborative gaming? – Santanu Ghatak, Ziox Mobiles

So PokemonGo is officially not a fad but here to stay. With millennials entering the new target audience segments, anything with a cute creature is here to stay.

Millennials, typically anyone born in the new millenium0 give or take a couple of years have entered into the spending demographics and it wasn’t far of that products catering to what they have been seeing in their childhood comes back for them to bite on the nostalgia bug. Cue to someone aged me who will go for things like a mobile phone still, or my mum who would love to see an old school radio re-hacked to play retro hits with vinyl precision.

It is important to understand what is a millennial and what did s/he see growing up that the new markets will target them to be the new consumers & purchasing centurions. Y2K was a truly exciting time to be. Internet speeds were moving from ‘beep beeps’ to insta-connects, camera phones were on the verge of being democratised, Jobs was about to give us the ipod, diets ruled the roost, Sunny Leone was putting in cameos and Mia Khalifa was a portly 7 years old.

The millennial has grown up with connectivity around him and has had things at a platter when it comes to anything battery operated. Almost never having seen a cordless device, asking dad for a raise in allowance over Bluetooth or asking tracking the dog over a GPS leash- the millennial is steeped in technology all around him.

With the millennial seeing everything the way a screen might, Augmented Reality (AR) couldn’t have been far behind. At its essence, AR is VR with the actual reality thrown in and a classic addition of some PR while Q to R goes for a toss- PR being hard core public relations at play, the Q & R just seemed like a good rhyme. Whereas VR is about making a scenario and exposing it to a viewer over a tied device, AR breaks free of the mould and adds in characters in to real world locations. Assume any of the 2D map functions as you would see and experience the world and now add in the pointers & location pins that you see when looking for something- this pin thing added is AR. In the now of AR, you see the world and add these pointers in real world situations and see the world as a series of points.

Is AR something brand new? No it isn’t. Google with its Glass has been attempting to popularise it for a while now. Just that seeing stats and figures isn’t something that a millennial would want to see- hence the lack of popular interest. PokemonGo filled this gap, where switching on the camera shows the real world on one side and adds in the cute & cuddly things all around to be picked & squished. And thus getting onto millennials to experience something first hand and giving them a first-hand experience of a technology which won’t just be the future but will turn into a way of life.

The Magikarp for PokemonGo however, could be the ADD which plagues the age range where the millennials are currently in. Nothing new in this, just that the physical age is such, that nostalgia bugs you into staying what you’ve been for so long and not letting go. The law of averages however catches up and the game will surely pass on because the post millennials have been exposed to media besides Pokemon & DragonBallZ. But the floodgates for AR now open the future will come in much more sooner than expected.

Advertising, marketing & targeting revenues are not the only things that AR needs to do. Technologies are much more than revenue generations. Iron wasn’t just to be a strong metal but have an age and lead history to the next stage of making history. While Babbage probably made the first adding machine to help a storeowner count his oranges but it has led to whatever we are seeing today. The first manned missions in space were to lead us to having bases in Planet X. The possibilities are endless and Augmented Reality as a way of life will be democratised sooner than expected.

(The author is Senior Manager-Marketing, Ziox Mobiles)

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