Draft material for the post "Pikachu, guardian del mundo hibrido" (Spanish),
The fever goes on. This last summer we have seen in many corners in every street unexpected crowds, with each person of the group focused in the screen of his smartphone. The first augmented reality game for the great public arrived out of the blue, not even the Simpson predicted PokemonGo in spite of the rumours.
PokemonGo is showing how augmented reality opens venues for new business opportunities. We are seeing nothing more than proofs of concept, but a hint of the future to come. For instance, there is a clear link of the case of someone that becomes a full-time PokemonGo hunter and the appearance in eBay of PokemonGo accounts for sale. Your profile as a PokemonGo hunter is becoming an status symbol and, therefore, valuable. Augmented reality bring us the possibility of creating consumer items from thin air and a new class of manufacturers of virtuality.
Enabling the manufacturing of virtuality within augmented reality poses also new challenges regarding several rights connected with the usage of physical spaces that are used as scenarios. On one hand, we should remember the controversial debate around the freedom of panorama. Could be the the usage of an art work in a physical scenario considered a violation of copyright?. On the other hand, personal data protection frameworks also impose obligations of signalling the passers-by a possible capture of its image. Finally, it is not obvious that the usage of the interior of buildings as scenarios of augmented reality games could be done without the consent of the owner. Whatever the final way to deal with these concerns, are enabling another new possible source of incomes for the owners of property or even taxes as a kind of "rights of pass" in the virtual world.
Last but not least, an old business of the digital world that is leaping ahead with the augmented reality games: the virtual game coins in apps. Probably, this kind of item was the first type of virtual item that has been sold. But the revenues in augmented reality games are the triple than in legacy apps (3$bn a year in PokemonGo vs 1$bn a year in CandyCrush). Would in the future even virtual game coins from augmented reality games being accepted in the real world?
New products from nothing. Welcome to the era of selling thin air.