Chris J Powell

Download Your Brave New (Virtual) World

Who will be grabbing the biggest chunk of the predicted billions of dollars in the future of the augmented reality market? There’s advertising agencies of course, but it’s hard to predict how that will turn out, whereas the visual entertainment and gaming has just as much if not more potential. This leaves a huge segment of the market to movie and gaming studios.

With all the promising science and technologies coming out, this type of virtual reality is inevitably possible in the future

Imagine being able to create your own world with characters and parts from your favourite movies. Avatar Ikrans (the mountain banshees) perched up and flying around skyscrapers, the Mad Hatter following you around along with Wall-E, the Batman sign projected up in the clouds, Star Wars ships battling in the sky while manoeuvring around the balloon assisted floating house from UP, and every person around looking like Mr. Smith. We will be telling our kids that we used to have information overload, while they are dealing with a visual overload. All these virtual realities could just be downloaded through apps.

The movie studios love their cash grabs. Remaking a movie into 3D, changing next to nothing and making millions. If the hardware is available and consumers demand such applications, there is no doubt the big studios will be releasing virtual reality apps for a couple bucks.
Before big movie studios enter this realm , it is likely they will wait to see if it is a viable market. The smaller independent studios would enter this market first. They wouldn’t have big brands like Batman and Star Wars to boost sales, but the first ones to the augmented reality visualisation market who release top-notch apps could make a name for themselves, like what Rovio did with Angry Birds (now worth over $100 MM).

These studios do not only have to stick with just visuals. They could be interactive, this is where the gaming studios play their role. Simple apps could allow the visuals to integrate movements with surrounding buildings (This wouldn’t be hard to do, as both Apple and Google are releasing photo-realistic 3D maps to their mobile devices, both with APIs). As mentioned earlier flocks of Avatar Ikrans (the flying banshees) could fly around, swooping around city blocks, avoiding the buildings. More advanced developers could take the augmented reality apps one step further. Sticking with the Avatar banshees for this example, players could start off with one (or have to capture one, like in the movie). The banshee follows the user around wherever they go. If they go for a run, it could fly infront to try to motivate the user to run faster than their last run. It could grow depending on different factors, one could be time. Another could be dependent on how active you are: physically (running/moving around) or socially (using systems likeKlout to judge). This visual app is now a social augmented reality game. It doesn’t have to be an Avatar banshee the virtual character could be anything. The possibilities are endless.

Imagine what the first augmented reality MMO would be like. Would it be a global game or stick to the citys? A social platform (Facebook or G+)? What do you think will happen when the technology is ready?

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