Now that Pokémon GO has burst onto the scene, more people than ever before are able to enjoy a gaming experience that incorporates augmented reality.
Not to be confused with virtual reality, augmented reality is a technology that blends your actual environment with virtual graphics, sounds and gameplay. The camera in your smart phone is used to provide the real backdrop for the game, allowing you to change your in-game environment simply by moving around in real life.
Augmented reality is undoubtedly a gold mine that has yet to be fully tapped into by app developers. At this point, we can only speculate about what the gaming industry might look like in a few years, once more augmented reality games have hit the market. Here are some promising possibilities:
What would it take to get you to really pound the pavement and get in shape by running? Being chased by zombies, of course! There are multiple gamified fitness apps on the market, which can help you not only getting into a running routine, but also get a total workout with crunches, leg-kicks and punches. And if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, games like Ingress can get you walking and exploring in no time.
What could be around the corner for gamified fitness and augmented reality? Perhaps more “collect them all” games that set various physical challenges for you. Imagine a game like Pokémon GO where instead of throwing virtual poké balls at your targets, you had to sprint to catch them. You’d be fit as a fiddle in no time!
Tourism and gaming? Could they really go together? Yes, they can and they do. Developers have released new tourism apps that use augmented reality to create a unique fun and educational experience. These apps might overlay historical images on modern buildings, for example, making the past come to life.
Self-guided tours are also popular, with bits of trivia popping up onto your screen as you approach certain points in the games. If you enjoying touring new locations but hate having to drag your bored kids along with you, augmented reality tourism or travel apps could be just what you need to make the trip a pleasant, engaging experience for the whole family.
Right now, if you want to play a game of poker and bet some money on it at the same time, you have the option of going to a brick-and-mortar casino (which might involve quite a bit of traveling, depending on where you live) or sign up to play online at reputable sites, such as this Canadian-based gaming portal site. However, the experience of casino gambling is very different when played in person versus online.
In person, you have the opportunity to read your opponents, to interact with the dealer and to try to bluff or play other psychological tricks like the pros. There is an entire atmosphere surrounding the poker table at a live game. When playing online poker, the atmosphere dissipates and the game becomes more like an exercise in statistics.
Most people would prefer to blend the convenience of online poker with the atmosphere of a live casino. That’s where augmented reality could be truly revolutionary. Imagine an app that could blend the two worlds together, giving you a virtual seat at a real poker table. Can it be done? It’s certainly in the works, and we can’t wait to see what apps are released in the coming months or years.
And Of Course … Bringing Popular Franchises to Life
Pokémon GO remains a stellar example of how augmented reality can bring popular franchises to life. Now you can literally step into the shoes of your favorite characters and experience the world through their eyes. The possibilities are limitless!
Imagine how neat it would be to mesh the popular fictional world of Harry Potter with augmented reality, for example. Within the stories, wizards and witches could see things that non-magical people could not. With augmented reality, suddenly we could all finally enter that magical world and see the Leaky Cauldron beckon us in, or even Hogwarts itself!
Other franchises with substantial, existing fan bases would be smart to explore augmented reality as well. Dragon Ball Z, Doctor Who and Avatar: The Last Airbender have already been offered up as additional franchises that could easily blend with augmented reality for an exciting new fan experience. And while it is not an official Ghostbusters game, SpecTrek is considered a fun game for fans of the movies.
What do you think? Which movie, T.V. show or video game would you love to see turned into an augmented reality game? Share your thoughts in the comments below!