With the return of Pokémon and a Clinton running for president you would think we are in the mid 1990’s but in year 2016 Hilary could make history and Pokémon just did.

PokémonGO has brought Augmented Reality to the minds of millions of people around the globe with their launch of PokémonGO. But what does Augmented Reality mean to the people who don’t have time to ‘catch them all’?

For the markets out there, this means a whole new way to actively engage an audience through the integration of digital marketing in real life scenarios. For service and product providers it means adding an innovative dimension to promotion. So…

What is Augmented Reality?

Without boring the technicalities, augmented reality has interlaced digitally rendered images into real life. Yes, we are one step closer to digitizing our entire world. As these digitally rendered images enter our surrounding and into our mobile devices we can connect through different mediums such as text, pictures or video.

What’s the big deal?

Although PokémonGO has brought on the wave of attention to augmented reality, the functionalities have already been put to work by IKEA and others. The 2016 IKEA Calendar provided with a free app allows the viewer to digitally render images on the page turning them into 3D objects through the screen. More so, object can be placed around the house through the smart phone screen to act as if it is already part of the room.

As more people become both educated and comfortable with Augmented Reality the feasibility of integrating it into a marketing plan will begin. Companies can now reach their audiences on another dimension through mobile devices. Before the internet era marketers were restricted by physical space, solved by the eternal limit of online opportunity but now physical space and virtual space have met. No longer are we constrained by space but now we can invent our own.

The Future

The technology driving PokémonGO has actually been around for years. In fact Niantic, the company behind the application developed a similar Augmented Reality game called Ingress back in 2012. With this huge increase in awareness of the technology, what can we expect to come? Well, make sure to check out Magic Leap. This secretive company has a 4.5 Billion valuation and has not even released anything commercially at the time of this article. Another company fueling this technology is Microsoft with their AR solution, the Hololens. The future will blur the lines between the physical and digital worlds so much so that we may not distinguish a difference!