Pokémon Go Shows the Promise of Augmented Reality Apps

July 21, 2016 by

Wowza GoCoder SDK app for virtual reality

Everyone is talking about Pokémon Go, and with good reason: in just two weeks (and not yet having been released in Japan), it’s garnered an estimated 30 million downloads and $35 million in revenue. Those are impressive numbers for any app, but the really intriguing aspect is what it signals for the future of augmented reality (AR). Emerging technologies always prompt the question of whether they’ll attain mass appeal, and after the short and much-maligned lifespan of Google Glass, many were tempted to brand AR as a niche phenomenon. However, Pokémon Go proves definitively that people—tens of millions of them, across various demographics—are interested in AR experiences.

Unlike Google Glass, Pokémon Go doesn’t require any special equipment—just your cell phone and a data connection. And that’s an important lesson for businesses. There’s great potential for AR in all kinds of entertainment and informational applications, from overlaying player bios on the live action at a soccer game to showing you what landmark buildings looked like 200 years ago as you tour a city.

What’s the best way to bring AR to bear for your business? The Wowza GoCoder SDK enables you to build any kind of mobile live video experience, including augmented reality. We created a quick demo that leverages the GoCoder SDK’s extensibility to allow custom processing of video frames before they’re transmitted in the video stream.

In this demo, a custom image (the Wowza ninja’s face) and text are overlaid onto the video stream and the image’s position and scale are updated using facial-recognition data obtained from the mobile device’s camera interface.

By combining these features with real-time GPS information from the mobile device, the sky is the limit for creating unique AR experiences on mobile devices.