Augmented reality has been something of a trailblazer in the gaming industry in recent years. The technology has been hovering around the periphery of the mainstream for some years in the form unsuccessful endeavors like Sony PlayStation 2’s Eye Toy: Play — which used a camera to embed a digital world over a real-life canvas that users could interact with — and various games for Nintendo Wii. However, it wasn’t until the explosion in mobile gaming over the last decade that AR really began to announce itself on the biggest stage.
While such developments were occurring, very few could’ve foreseen augmented reality’s relationship with business collaboration tools blossoming as the technology developed. But with endeavors like PowerX’s augmented reality table presenting itself as a solution for providing complex visualizations and digital learning tools within organisations, it’s clear to see that a symbiotic relationship between the technology and corporate adopters is emerging.
Mobile application-based gaming now enjoys the lion’s share of a market worth $150 billion, and it’s showing no signs of letting up.
Given the seamless synchronization prospects between augmented reality apps and the built-in cameras that are commonplace in mobile devices and tablets, it was clear to see that this industry development was set to benefit AR’s development.
In 2016, AR developer Niantic released Pokémon Go, a game that captivated users both young and old, and inspired them to interact with their real-world environment and leave their houses in a bid to capture rare virtual monsters. Pokemon Go!’s release represented a watershed moment for augmented reality and entertainment, having accumulated over 800 million downloads worldwide.
Pokémon Go’s raucous success has given Niantic the encouragement they needed to fine-tune their technology and return in 2019 with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite — a not-too-dissimilar concept based on the money-spinning Harry Potter franchise.
While the brand of augmented reality utilized by Niantic has captured the minds of both customers and developers alike, it’s the arrival of remote AR that’s really setting the pulses racing for those within the gaming industry, and here we highlight three ways in which remote collaboration in games is set to revolutionize the way we work and play across the world.
Leading the way in providing remote AR gaming solutions is Watty, a company that’s dedicated to enabling users to connect via the power of augmented reality.
Through the pioneering Watty Remote, players get to create avatars to join the company’s anthropomorphic raccoon mascot, Boo and play with other avatars from around the world – responding to the respective environments around them or even doing battle against each other.
Watty Remote promises to bring a level of interconnectivity to AR-based environments that have never been seen before in gaming and paves the way for a future of deeply immersive multiplayer games in the coming years.
Gleb Braverman, the Watty founder, points towards the potential that remote AR and its uses possess in providing a platform for users to engage with each other across the world: “Imagine if you could share AR with your friend on the other side of the world with just a mobile phone. We’ll actually be able to deliver it with Watty Remote. Our vision is that AR multiplayer will be as easy as online shopping.”
Collaborating with workers remotely can be something of a minefield. Skype meetings can often feel unproductive and difficult to forge any remnants of progress between colleagues and clients. However, by utilizing headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap, AR developers Spacial have built a collaborative platform that remotely transports users into the heart of a meeting – from anywhere in the world.
Engadget dubbed Spacial’s tool as “the Slack of the future” and given how simple it is to create meaningful digital content that can be placed in front of all virtual participants, it’s easy to see why. Spacial represents a giant leap forward for AR collaboration technology and could be a significant coup for the industries of architecture and construction, where workers are dependent on intricate visualizations to work with.
Developed by Magic Leap, Avatar Chat brings an extra dimension to remote social gatherings online. The application, designed to work with the use of Microsoft’s HoloLens headset allows users to create digital avatars of themselves and socialize with friends through augmented reality — from wherever they may be based in the world.
The use of digital props that embed themselves in a layer over reality goes some way in adding a fun and playful experience that trumps the likes of Skype for enabling users to feel immersed inside their augmented environments.
What’s more, is that Avatar Chat has the power to mimic your real-life movements and replicate them in your avatar — enabling you to feel like you’re as close to achieving a physical presence with your friends and contemporaries as can be.
Avatar Chat and the technology behind Magic Leap’s creation could work wonders for individuals who are required to spend large periods of time away from home through work or university — and could really help in the battle to prevent loneliness in individuals across the world.
Peter Jobes is a tech, crypto, and blockchain writer having worked with the Press Association and clients like Tesco, RAC and HelpUCover.co.uk. CMO at Solvid.