The instant popularity of the video game Pokemon Go changed the way many people thought about mobile phone games. Using a smartphone camera, the game allows the user to see cartoon characters “existing” in the real world on their screens.
Grace Ahn, an assistant professor of advertising at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, argues that this game may become a precursor to augmented reality, or AR, games. Now in development, AR devices aim to create a live view that fuses the real and virtual worlds.
“Pokemon Go is indeed playing a critical role in democratizing the idea of AR, so that everyday users will be more prepared to adopt the technology when it is later introduced,” wrote Ahn, in an essay for IEEE Spectrum. “Shifting the public’s understanding of what is ‘normal’ is critical for the adoption of emerging technology. Remember when the hands-free feature first became available for cellular devices? People walking in the streets, ostensibly mumbling and laughing to themselves, confused many nonusers. Nowadays, people barely even notice this. Likewise, today’s Pokemon Go players look odd to outsiders, but norms will shift here as well.”