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The Influencers

Everything’s About to Change

INFLUENCER: VML London's Frederico Roberto on how augmented reality is shaking up actual reality

Everything’s About to Change

Everything is about to change. And the reason is augmented reality. Different from virtual reality in so many ways (VR creates a completely new world that absorbs its user, while AR enhances our own reality), AR never really exploded, apart from the glitch in the matrix – this pun was necessary given the theme – that was Pokemon Go.

But with next week’s supposed announcement of the iPhone 8 with (also supposedly) native AR features, one can expect for this tech to finally go mainstream. And that’s really all we need to see a massive change in how we use our mobile phones, how we engage with the physical space around us, our reality.

One of the reasons why I’m so excited (positively nervous even!) is the fact that it has only been four or five months since Apple released the AR Developer Kit for techies to have a go with. And the first tryouts have been absolutely amazing. The website Made With AR KIT has an amazing collection of little projects that were put together over the past few months.

Here are two of my favourites:

It will change everything, for sure. It will change how we shop, how we order food, how we date, how we play games, how we consume the news, how we navigate in a hospital or shopping centre. Everything will become potential owned (digital) media when before it was nothing but physical space. It might become an employee motivational tool, it will change education, traffic, city mobility. Industries such as auto, travel and even sports. Take a look at this AR use on a very technical and demanding environment: an airport. 

As always, the entertainment industry will lead the way, as with this example created by Mountain Dew and AMC for the Walking Dead. I reckon AR's first initial uses will be on a very low-entry, easy-to-adapt, not-much-thought-put-into-it use such as promotions, other little games, etc. 

For a long time, a Harry Potter AR game has been (rumored) to be in the making and it would greatly appeal to the masses. The game 'Maguss' was kickstarted on the crowdfunding platform promising to be as such. It never really took off as expected, but an IP such as Harry Potter would be definitely, insanely popular, with great commercial appeal.

The next step, I reckon, is the one that will definitely shift our very existence. The disappearance of mobile devices via the creation of human enhancing devices and tools such as contact lenses and other Minority Report-like gadgets that will forever catapult us to ways of living that right now seems like AR…Another Reality. Let’s just hope that the below never really happens.

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