On the day of the Boston Marathon, it’s no surprise to see thousands of runners sprint down Boylston Street to the finish line.
But lately, I’ve been seeing a different breed of runners outside our downtown Prudential Center office – people dressed for work or heading to the gym or to school, darting around rush hour foot traffic with their iPhone cameras held high.
— Caitlin Walsh (@walshcaitlin) July 13, 2016
They’re on the hunt for tiny digital Pokémon characters that are out hiding in Boston’s public spaces and in cities across the world. Pokémon Go launched this month, and already, millions have downloaded the game to their smartphones.
It’s an exciting moment for augmented reality. It’s here, and it’s here to stay.
In the not-to-distant future, I’m sure this technology will change the world we live in – whether it allows school textbooks to come to life on tablets, it gives emergency personnel the instant opportunity to visualize buildings that were destroyed in fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, or from a consumer standpoint, it allows customers to see what’s inside a product’s packaging prior to opening it.
Pokémon Go – while not perfect – proves that augmented reality can succeed in a many fields. But the technology must improve. Vox author Timothy B. Lee says software will be one of the main drivers for success and growth in the augmented reality realm.
“…But augmented reality won’t really come into its own until companies like Apple and Samsung create better hardware for seamlessly merging the real and virtual worlds,” Lee writes.
“The basic problem here is that my iPhone is only aware of its location and surroundings in the crudest sense. It has a GPS chip, a compass, and an accelerometer that tells it very roughly where I’m located and which way my phone is pointing. But the iPhone’s camera doesn’t have the ability to recognize or precisely track objects — something that human beings take for granted.”
Another consideration for augmented reality is capacity. When apps are delivered through Wi-Fi, it’s crucial that there is enough bandwidth to support anticipated demand.
Pokémon Go has experienced its fair share of outages since the launch last week. Many players, VentureBeat reports, received notifications on their application that servers were overloaded or the app was unable to authenticate. The issues are likely due to an influx of gamers utilizing the application at the same time.
In today’s mobile economy, there’s no reason why users shouldn’t be able to open their Pokémon Go app and play the game when they want to. The game developer Niantic, Inc. is expected to deliver a quality experience, regardless of surges in demand. It’s crucial that this organization knows when to expect massive amounts of consumers and for how long.
The biggest threat to successfully delivering an application or service today is the ability to scale that application or service to meet consumer demands. A key component of the solution is a digital infrastructure management platform that reports on current and future capacity needs.