No one expected the runaway success of Pokemon Go. How for a few brief, glorious months, fans both young and old took to the parks and streets, exploring their towns and cities in an effort to catch them all. A few savvy businesses were able to tap into the craze, but for the most part, the marketing potential of the game went largely unfulfilled.
Believe it or not, Pokemon Go is still going strong today, even during the pandemic. A few competitors have even popped up in the interim. But these are all simply a sign of things to come.
Augmented reality has potential that goes well beyond mobile games. Imagine the following:
- Using your phone to visualize how furniture might look in your home or to see how you might look in a new outfit.
- Scanning a piece of computer hardware with your camera to see a list of specs along with recommended components to pair it.
- Viewing the calorie count and ingredients of what you’re eating simply by snapping a photo.
- Being able to immediately pull up reviews, social chatter, business listings, and other information on a business simply by pointing a device at the storefront.
These are all within the realm of possibility. Google and its competitors in the artificial intelligence space have been making significant strides in object recognition. And the technology to introduce AR to our lives beyond smartphone apps already exists.
Remember Google Glass? On paper, it was an incredibly promising piece of tech. That it failed can very likely be chalked up to it being slightly ahead of its time — a product introduced to its audience before they were ready to consider its potential.
At this point, it seems likely that in the very near future, we will see similar technologies to Google Glass, and this time, they won’t fall flat for a few reasons:
- We are now a society of individuals who’ve been thrust into a world of digital transformation and the Internet of Things. Although some predictions of how a post-COVID world will look have been understandably grim, others, as noted by Pew Research, predict a fully tech-driven world.
- AR and virtual reality have been growing in leaps and bounds over the past several years, and analyst Market Research Future has predicted that the market will reach $766 billion by 2025 with a 73.7% compound annual growth rate.
- According to Enterprise Irregulars, artificial intelligence has also evolved in parallel with AR and VR, becoming more capable and seeing more widespread use in enterprise. This means better object recognition and improved contextual awareness for AR-powered searches.
As you may have already guessed, AR will have the most significant impact on local SEO. Businesses will have a wealth of new ways to engage with their audience, an entirely new marketing channel through which they can bring in prospects. And Google, for its part, will be a driving force behind this evolution, just as it’s steered the future of search up to this point.