#Asia 2 industries that can repeat Pokemon Go’s augmented reality success


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Augmented reality had been around since 1962 but it became into mainstream with Pokemon Go. Nintendo’s 20 years franchise joined forces with Niantic Labs to superimpose digital images on the real world through a smartphone.

The public recognition of the cute pocket monsters and the novelty of augmented reality had created a new record for Pokemon Go. Fans are known to great lengths in their search for Pokemon. One New Zealand frenetic even quit his job for a dedicated two months’ Pokemon hunt.

PokemonGo_Record-edSource: Survey Monkey

The tremendous success of Pokemon Go added US$7.5 billion to Nintendo’s share price as it brings in US$1 million in revenue despite opening in just three countries. Experts had estimated that Pokemon Go can bring in US$1 billion per year as it expands globally, adds more social gaming features and solves it teething server breakdown issues.

Now that Pokemon Go had proved that gaming is a good application for augmented reality (AR), let us explore other fields that might benefit from augmented reality.

Interior Design

Interior design is a visual industry which sits right into the strength of augmented reality. For most people, it is hard to visualize how a certain piece of furniture will complement their desired living room. However, they can easily use Augment for an instant visualization.

Augment_Furniture-edSource : Augment

Imagine if Courts were to provide this AR feature and allow us to configure the right colours for our houses, perhaps it would duplicate the success of Pokemon Go.

Another important feature of AR is that it allows the social interaction that comes along with it. Humans crave interaction, be it in games or work. Hence, an AR solution would not be complete without social interaction.

Social Features-edSource: Decolabs

Imagine if Chew Interior were to allow you to provide instant feedback to their designs. It will not only result in shorter design time frame but also higher customer satisfaction. This would also reduce the overall cost of design as less man hours are used in the long run after consideration the initial investment into augmented reality.


Who likes to have their veins poked more than once to draw blood for testing purposes? I know that I don’t and chances are that you are with me on this count. AccuVein had used AR to improve first stick success from 45.6 per cent to 90.3 per cent.

AccuVein2-ed                                                                                          Source: Accuvein

Besides inducing less pain for patients, each failed attempt cost the hospital US$32 and decreased staff motivation. Failures are common on the dark skinned, elderly and obese patients.

While Accuvein is more for nurses, Medical Realities is an US based organization where doctors use AR with Google Glass for their surgery. They film their surgery with a special camera that allows 360 degrees capture of their operation that can viewed by virtual reality goggles Oculus Rift.

Medical Realities Google Glasses-ed                                                                             Source: Medical Realities

Google Glass allows surgeons to view detailed 3D images of the heart and its vessels and they can control the zooming in and out using voice commands. The glasses would also allow the automatic sending of patients vitals and ECG while the patient is being rushed to the Emergency Department. As far as I know, this is not being implemented in Singapore yet.


AR has been around for ages and it is now up to a competent web developer to popularize it among the masses. As Niantic Labs had shown with Pokemon Go, AR is a game changer that can reignite a traditional industry.

So it would be worth it for small and nimble businesses to take up an SME loan and disrupt the existing order. This might be slightly risky but they might be celebrating their Nintendo like success with champagne. All you need to do is to knock on the door of these two traditional industries that are resistant to change.

The views expressed here are of the author’s, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them. e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested in sharing your point of view, submit your article here

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