Post by Vanessa Jozwiak, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Manager, Loudoun County, Va Department of Economic Development
Earlier this month there were an estimated 9.5 million active users on Pokemon Go, a location-based augmented reality mobile application released by Nintendo. The overwhelming adoption of this gaming style has stirred a lot of buzz about the potential for augmented reality technologies. So what is augmented reality, and what’s the potential for these technologies in our region?
Augmented reality means using technology to superimpose information on the world we see. AR is hardware and software changing, or augmenting, real-world experiences. Pokemon Go has done a great job of introducing consumers to the potential of AR, but imagine the value of overlaying more than a Pikachu. In our region there are great opportunities for AR technology to be advanced, especially as related to defense, healthcare and commercial development.
Safety and security users have been early adopters of AR technology, especially as it relates to minimizing risks and improving training for high-risk situations. Examples in our region include FlightBeam Studios’ world-class simulation training used at Dulles International Airport, and the DoD using smart glass for battlefield training at Quantico. As the technology continues to advance expect to see new technology widely tested and adopted by our region’s federal contracting firms and defense agencies.
The healthcare industry is another user primed for AR. Some examples of technology already deployed include combining wearables that allow surgeons to provide remote assistance during surgery, improve the sight of the visually impaired, and devices to detect a patient’s veins for immunizations. In Loudoun, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s research facility, and new state-of-the-art emergency centers such as Stone Springs Hospital offer great opportunities to explore AR-enabled healthcare solutions.
Having been #1 in Virginia for commercial property investment the past two years, Loudoun is well positioned to be an excellent location for AR technology companies focused on commercial development. Current AR applications allow developers and contractors to re-imagine the interior or exterior designs of buildings, or maintain existing structures with 4-D modeling. This technology allows unprecedented access to a built, or unbuilt environment, to developers, builders and their customers.
Augmented Realty technology has been tested and used in various industries well before Pokemon Go. As this technologies becomes more mainstream, expect to see its value incorporated into our region’s largest industries.
If you enjoy discussing emerging technology trends and want to connect with some of the region’s tech leaders, come to the next Loudoun Technology Coalition meeting.
At Loudoun Economic Development, your business is our business. We want to make sure Loudoun companies are successful, and if your company isn’t in Loudoun already, we’d like to discuss how moving here can contribute to your success. Start by calling us today 1-(800)-LOUDOUN
Crawford, K. (2015, June 15). Navy & Marines Test Glasses for Augmented Reality System. Retrieved from Armed With Science: The Official U.S. Defense Department Science Blog: http://science.dodlive.mil/2015/06/17/navy-marines-test-glasses-for-augmented-reality-system/
Emspak, J. (2016, March 22). What is Augmented Reality? Retrieved from livescience: http://www.livescience.com/34843-augmented-reality.html
Thompson, J. (2015, October 20). New Technology in Commercial Real Estate. Retrieved from PinPoint Commercial: http://www.pinpointcommercial.com/blog/2015/10/30/new-technology-in-commercial-real-estate/
Wagner, K. (2016, July 13). recode. Retrieved from How many people are actually playing Pokémon Go? Here’s our best guess so far.: http://www.recode.net/2016/7/13/12181614/pokemon-go-number-active-users