How Pokemon Go Could Change the Course of Technology

Story at Market Watch:

“Augmented reality is the bigger play because humans still get to touch, and still have a better connection with, their immediate real-time physical world,” said Todd Richmond, an IEEE member and director of advanced prototype development at University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. “It is an easier transaction to process.”

Virtual reality remains ahead of augmented reality in overall development, with first-generation headsets like Facebook Inc.’s FB, +0.32%   Oculus Rift and HTC Corp.’s 2498, +0.52%   Vive released earlier this year. Sony Corp.’s SNE, +0.70%   PlayStation VR is expected to hit the market in the second half of 2016.

But virtual reality sales haven’t taken off in the way some might have expected, as no game or app has broken through to the mainstream and made the expensive devices a must-have item. That leaves room for augmented reality offerings like Pokémon Go to leapfrog their more immersive brethren, and potentially prove that the more attractive option of the two.

“We’re in a period of novelty sells right now,” said Richmond. “Augmented reality will impact all verticals in all aspects of life—but right now virtual reality is the shiny object.”

The technology powering Niantic Labs’ Pokémon Go is not much different than the technology that powered the Google spinoff’s augmented-reality game Ingress, released two years ago. The household brand name of Nintendo Co.’s NTDOY, -10.55%   Pokémon, and the fact that the public is more acquainted with augmented reality now than it was in 2014, has created a “perfect storm” for adoption, Richmond said.