In 2016, even your obese, non-gamer uncle was suddenly a fully active AR gamer. He, along with 20 million enthusiasts per day, frolicked in public parks and played for hours on end. Of course, we’re talking about Pokémon Go.
All the Pokémoons
were aligned for such an app to be a raving global success. It had never been done. It had a built-in audience who grew up on Pokémon. It was affordable. It had Lucky Eggs.
The app was a big win for augmented reality, but now that the novelty has worn off … what’s the future of AR gaming? What medium will it be played on? Will it be bigger than VR? Here’s what our experts say.
The future of AR gaming
1) Mobile will dominate
Mobile revenues now account for more than 50% of the AR market, followed by PCs, consoles and tablets. Why? Because nearly everyone has a ready-to-go gaming system in their pockets—their phone. (Think back to Pokémon Go.) However, a high percentage of those folks won’t invest in a pricey gaming PC or console. So mobile it is.
This is good news for mobile stakeholders and bad news for overall AR quality and experience, which is explained in our next prediction …
2) AR will be the gateway to VR
Compare your aforementioned uncle’s iPhone 7 to a fully immersive Oculus Rift VR headset. Which delivers the better gaming experience?
The power of the device limits the immersion of the experience. Therefore, since smartphone usage dominates AR—and these devices are limited by power, battery life and space—VR will reign supreme in the eyes of true gamers. In fact, the casual gamer who starts with AR will often advance to VR.
Not only do VR-enabled devices deliver better, 360°
experiences, but many AR users find themselves disabling
the AR feature in their games. Why? Because lagging or other quality issues act more as a distraction than a benefit.
But maybe AR will prove us wrong with a game-changing, bold move like …
3) AR contact lenses will be a thing
Google Glass is said to be an important, yet imperfect, pilot for AR. Since AR is all about progression of immersion, that means thinking beyond glasses and smartphones to evolve.
Our experts predict that gamers will one day insert AR-enabled, in-eye contact lenses that augment their perception of reality. This involves taking what we normally see and adding a layer of data on top.
To answer the how-can-you-fit-a-computer-in-my-eye query, think of the AR lens like a tiny monitor display, not the CPU itself. But considering such a wireless display would have to be reduced to the size of a coin, we aren’t holding our breath for this innovation to happen for many years.
How will you known when AR contact lenses become a reality? When you see your uncle catching virtual Pokémon with no devices, then you’ll know.
Read about the future of VR and AR in mainstream healthcare
or what gamers really think about SSDs