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If AR or VR is the future, then Pokemon Go's game engine Unity is laughing

Game developers know all about Unity Technologies. After all, 4.5 million of them are registered on Unity’s platform. Outside of the gaming industry though, it’s a different story and it’s only recently that Unity, has come more under the spotlight thanks to its Augmented Reality hit game, Pokemon Go that was developed on its game engine.

Why is the success of Pokemon Go a great win for Unity? Firstly, it has brought Augmented Reality (AR) to the forefront in a massively appealing way, allowing it to come out from Virtual Reality’s (VR) shadow.  

Secondly, around 90% of VR content is made on Unity’s platform and now with its Pokemon Go hit, there will be more room to play with AR content too - opening up masses of potential for markets outside of gaming, especially for businesses looking to build AR apps of their own.

Earlier this year at Unity’s developer event in Amsterdam, John Riccitello, CEO of Unity made it clear that VR will not just be about games and sure enough, there were plenty of developers at the event using Unity’s engine to develop VR content for a variety of use cases, from helping patients with chronic back pain to personalising cars for customers.  

Unity has been successful for many reasons. It’s simple to create content on its platform and a strong reason for why it has built up a credible base of registered developers. Unity’s use of analytics to track user behaviour also gives it a strong advantage point to target hardware in certain countries and markets and fix any hardware bugs quickly.

“It doesn't matter if its a game that was downloaded because once the game is on there we are seeing the device and these devices have lots of other things on them. From a hardware perspective and an iOS perspective it gives us really interesting insights and of course those insights are important for developers. Say you want to make a game for the Brazilian market, what is the target hardware I need to be thinking about?” Marcos Sanchez, head of global communications at Unity told me at Unity’s event in Amsterdam.

At any given time Unity is tracking around 1.7 billion unique devices which means that whenever someone downloads a game, as long as the developer has the analytics feature turned on, Unity finds out and can immediately start extracting insights. This alone puts Unity in a powerful position.

Now with Pokemon Go serving as a good spotlight for Augmented Reality and with $181 million funding, the future looks bright for developers to experiment with a broad range of applications for VR and AR – whether it’s medical apps or other forms of training apps businesses can use in-house on their staff.

“We're here because to do any of this you need a 3D engine which we have. And you need an authoring environment which we have. So we have the tools that will help creators figure out the language but we don't even know the language. It will be a joint process of figuring things out,” Sanchez concludes.

 

 

Also read:

Unity: The game engine powering the key VR players

Ex-Microsoft HR boss on re-wiring hiring

VR ‘gimmick’ trap: How can businesses identify their VR ‘gaps’?

What does the Blippar deal mean for Augmented Reality?

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Ayesha Salim

Ayesha Salim is Staff Writer at IDG Connect

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