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Pokemon Go and the case for augmented/virtual reality

Illustration credit: Maya Avelar / The Foothill Dragon Press.

In today’s age, incomprehensible ideas have the opportunity to become reality. All of our thoughts can have an immediate, drastic impact on the world.

We are always making advancements; technological progress towards a better world. So, our thought-to-be unrealistic ideas, which remain dormant inside our heads, don’t need to be anymore. Any negative aspects of an idea can be refined.

These advancements are progressive towards the expansion of ideas built upon others, from one generation to the next. Whether good or bad, right or wrong, revolutionary new technology is created often.

For example, representative of both political and technological progress, nuclear advancements may someday lead to nuclear war.

However, the good thing about any revolutionary technologies is that they can be controlled for change and new direction within society rather than profit, entertainment, or even devastation.

The next big technological advancement of our generation is called augmented reality (AR). This is a technology which uses a computer-generated image to provide a more complex view of the world. It imposes new ideas about what surrounds us each and every day, and allows us to see things that aren’t prominently visible to the naked eye. An example of this is Pokemon Go.

Now, sorry to disappoint, but there aren’t really Pokemon living among us, waiting for millions of people to control their fate. No, but Pokemon Go does create a compelling case for the future of augmented reality. With the worldwide success of this game, the possibilities for it to actually be beneficial to our lives are very interesting.

I believe we shouldn’t allow technology such as this to control our lives to the point where we forget that there is a real world outside of our phones and tablets. With that in mind, I would argue that things like Pokemon Go are not a practical use for the technology, and the negatives may outweigh the positives. However, the practical use to better our lives and create better futures for our children is that which can truly make a difference.

This goes the same for virtual reality (VR), which is similar to AR in a way, but rather than seeing the world around you in a different way, you enter into an alternate, virtual world in which you can interact with and experience a whole new setting. 

In our education, technology is already becoming a predominant resource for learning. I believe augmented reality should not replace our fantastic teachers, but rather be a tool to enhance education.

Imagine a history teacher using AR to sweep his/her class off to an ancient civilization with information to be explored, surrounding them on all sides. Or picture a biology teacher using VR to whisk a class off to study life in the oceans, or see the impact of global warming by watching an iceberg melt before their very eyes. Or in English class, can you see yourself reading and creating stories, and experiencing them virtually to get all the impact and emotion from the powerful messages presented by journeying through them yourself. You can completely immerse yourself into your learning.

For sports fans, watching their favorite sports can become where they are so completely immersed in the game, using virtual reality, that they can feel the nerves and levels of stress the players are experiencing. For athletes, say an NBA player, you can put yourself in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, with the last shot, and practice sinking it with the pressure on. This might’ve helped Stephen Curry in the Finals to get some ice in his blood, and maybe what were a bunch of bricks could’ve been money.

Now, I’m not trying to sound like I’m advertising augmented/virtual reality. I’m not, to be clear. However, my opinion is that humans make positive and negative advancements, and this is a positive one that should be used for practical use. You can see it as a science fiction future being brought to life, for means of discovery, outreach, teaching, and direction.

This technology may also be a key piece in the future of the wellbeing of our planet and all life that exists on it.

I don’t know how many more years our planet can take our abuse.

Augmented reality may lead to research which can end the issues of climate change, protect our biomes, and conserve nature’s wonders. Also, for space exploration, the benefits of augmented reality can virtually hold the hands of astronauts and assist them on board. The technology may pave the way for the next chapter of humanity’s exploration of space.

Some arguments against the use of AR are for reasons of privacy and security, which is why it should be used for helpful, practical usage, rather than any of the dumb things some humans will of course come up with in order to find themselves in situations which require privacy.

To maintain safety and security, AR can be used to make drivers more aware on the roads, making the world a safer place for everyone.

So, as I said before, we as humans will continue to make advancements to improve our lives. Whether it’s inventing the wheel, discovering fire or metal, beginning to write things down to spread information through generations, mapping the world and expanding it, capturing the world in a photograph, inventing a plane to fly above the clouds, putting a man on the moon, or creating the iPhone 7, they are all to bring us together and build ideas on top of another to settle us down and create a safer, happier world for everyone.

Advancements in augmented reality, for the right reasons, may be next to add to the list.

What do you think?
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  • W

    William A. WilsonOct 25, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    I am against Pokemon Go. This is due to the fact that people have broken onto Military Bases and compounds just to catch Pokemon. People who are playing Pokemon Go have been struck in the roads by people who were also playing Pokemon Go. they spend there new life playing games while there friends and family go through there own lives achieving there goals, and making a living. I have seen Sam Bova’s writing and it’s all pretty good. He brings up good points, questions what should be questioned, and asks what needs to be asks. Sadly, it has not gone as viral as a Pikachu on some random person’s lawn that someone thought they would screen snap on there phone. Sam Bova’s work needs to be heard as we all have a voice that seeks to be heard. 

    While technology is great even today, I agree that with good technology, comes weird and ridiculous tech. Whether it has a good purpose or a bad one, to make life better, or to pass the time. productive or laziness.

    While I Like Pokemon and Technology, and I am against Pokemon Go and laziness, I do believe that everything comes at a price. So while Pokemon Go is a no go with me, it also means advancement in augmented reality and virtual reality, two of which, weather we like it or not, is and will be the future.

    While I like Pokemon and technology alike, but dislike Pokemon Go and Not-So-Helpful Technology, everything comes with a price. So at the price of Pokemon Go that has actually caused death, it has given us new opportunity for further advancement in Augmented reality and virtual reality, both with many uses in so many areas such as hospitals and schools. so for the future and the present, we must accept both sides of the coin when it comes to technology and hope that we will forever achieve equal win/losses if not more wins.

    Cheers, and Share this opinion piece.

  • K

    kathrindancerOct 2, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Good and informative article, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I especially liked the way you stated the implications of AR and VR. As a school teacher, I can imagine using this to help my students with their learning.

    Also, thanks for clarifying what both of them mean. I never knew the difference between the two technologies.

    Let’s hope you’re right, and they can be used in positive ways in the future!

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Pokemon Go and the case for augmented/virtual reality