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Pokemon Go is all the rage, so what does this popular game by Nintendo have to do with commercial real estate? Pokemon Go is a location-based augmented reality (AR) game. This year, a completely new impact coming from AR has hit the commercial real estate industry.

With a combination of augmented reality and virtual reality, a game like Pokemon Go has the abilities to trigger a new commercial real estate trend with driving engagement of potential consumers to actual locations. Pokemon Go’s app is a strong tool for businesses and retail. With this, it is likely that other areas in commercial real estate may also be able to benefit

The emerging technology area of AR is predicted to reach $80 billion market by 2025, according to the CBRE’s July report. “Augmented reality has the ability to merge the consumer’s current experience of online and in-store shopping. Both on their own have limitations, but blending them together gives the consumer a powerful in-store experience that could continue to sustain the bricks-and-mortar segment of retail,” stated Julie Whelan, head of occupier research for CBRE.

Whelan also expressed that, “Someday it is not beyond the realm of possibility to see sophisticated augmented reality used to replace window displays and store signage; perhaps even tailored to passing-by consumers.”

According to CBRE, “Real estate companies can also add elements of augmented reality to their marketing, bringing otherwise static flat brochures to life and creating a virtual pop-up book that allows the user to interact with the property through 3D images and simply click a virtual button to contact the company.” “Pokémon GO has doubled the value of Nintendo (which developed the game together with the Pokémon Company and Niantic) since it was released on July 6, adding $20 billion to the company’s market cap in less than a month, and has far outpaced other mobile-device games in terms of active users, retention rates and revenue.”

CBRE also indicated that “DHL and Ricoh recently carried out a successful augmented reality pilot in a warehouse in the Netherlands that proved successful in enhancing time efficiency and error reduction.” With AR usage growing, it is also likely data centers will be able to benefit.

“With this technology, an architect or designer can bring their vision to life and share it with consumers. The power that this will give to marketing of development and construction firms is immense,” Whelan stated.

There are still cautionary measures with Pokemon Go and this new technology. It has caused safety and security concerns that building owners and managers must consider, CBRE highlighted. “A common concern about Pokémon GO is physical security as the game may encourage players to trespass on private property, thus posing a risk not only to property and business owners that don’t welcome the general public, but to the players themselves.

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