Pokémon Go has taken an incomparable leap in the development of augmented reality (AR), capturing the hearts of nostalgic 20-somethings as they wander around Australia determined to “catch them all”.
But there’s a huge warning bell the success of Pokémon Go should be signalling to businesses across the country that, if ignored could see an organisation suddenly overtaken by a more agile one in coming years.
Pokémon Go’s success with AR technology is a first step towards the next level of human communications and interactivity. Getting off the couch and climbing up a neighbour’s tree for a game is fun, but now that this technology has been introduced to the mass market, consumers will want and expect more.
As with mobile, the game raises the bar for expectations on the customer experience, personalisation, engagement, and product usability. And now, there’s no going back.
Here are just a few sectors that will get hit hard if they don’t start preparing today for these upcoming changes.
• Healthcare: This rapidly evolving industry is due for an even more extreme shake-up in the next few years. Patients are already starting to opt for e-clinics, instead of physical clinics, and soon will expect their doctors, midwives and nurses to pay virtual visits to their homes as and when they need them.
• Education: The success of online and e-learning methods and institutions is undeniable, and is heightening the competitiveness of the global education industry. The next university to offer immersive AR courses with access to educators and subject matter experts across the globe will leap ahead of competitors in attracting the best students.
• Conference and collaboration technologies: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are effectively communication tools. They’re some of the best-positioned organisations to lead the AR frontier and enable genuinely integrated meeting and conference experiences for consumers and businesses. If they don’t act on this soon, someone else will, and they’ll leave all conferencing and collaboration technology companies trailing behind.
Realistically, the companies most likely to be disrupted or overtaken by competitors because of AR will be those with the oldest processes and products in place, as well as those with staff who are most detached from using these kinds of technologies in their everyday lives. Typically, this would boil down to enterprise-sized universities, hospitals, banks, manufacturers, and mining and construction companies.
The easiest and most effective thing these businesses can do today to get ahead of this trend, and other tech trends that will undoubtedly emerge over time, is to hire young, switched-on, open-minded, and tech-savvy individuals.
Your average C-Suite exec may be addicted to Facebook and Snapchat, they may even have their own blog -– but it’s highly unlikely they’ll have the availability to spend their spare time on industry-changing apps like Pokémon Go.
Those who would could be within your business, or they may need to be hired, but the worst thing business leaders could do today is underestimate their ability to drive genuine innovation for your business and catapult it ahead of competitors. Within my own business, for example, this week I’ve already heard our development and consulting teams buzzing with excitement around the app, which has sparked dozens of ideas for how AR could be used for our own business and our clients. It’s a simple way to keep innovation alive and constant in our business.
If Australian businesses want to get serious about leading the conversation on innovation, we need to not only embrace new tech successes like Pokémon Go, but learn from them and adapt our business strategies accordingly. Look within your teams at those who already have the latest tech integrated into their daily routines and tap into their ideas and suggestions for where your business could go – they may surprise you, which is a good thing.
Logan Merrick is co-founder and director of Buzinga App Development, a leading Australian app development and innovation consultancy. Merrick and his co-founder Graham McCorkill have led the company from a two-man startup to an award-winning business in just three years. Partnering with clients ranging from individual entrepreneurs to small businesses and enterprise corporations, Merrick has personally contributed to the development of more than 150 mobile apps. He attributes his success to placing client satisfaction at the heart of the business.