“Look, there is a Pokémon in front of you.” Pokémon Go, which launched on July 6, 2016, has successfully attracted the public to augmented reality games. Niantic, Inc., the Pokémon Go developer, provided this new combination of AR and mobile Pokémon game. According to USA Today, Pokémon Go has been downloaded by at least 15 million people since its release last week. AR is a technology that displays virtual objects located in reality. Currently, although Pokémon Go is becoming the hottest mobile game in the United States and Japan, it has not been legally released anywhere in South Korea except Sokcho. Implementing AR into a mobile game was a marvelous technological advance; however, use of AR introduces too many risks and potential negative effects, such as disturbance to world society and public order.
The Advantages of Augmented Reality
AR’s strength is in expressing three-dimensional video graphics as if they were reality, allowing people to quickly identify necessary information. Application of this technology involves several requirements. Essentially, these requirements include a GPS that sends local information and gravity sensors. AR technology can be useful in scientific, social, and economic contexts.
In science, an AR education application can present an animated 3D tour of the human brain, bringing about technological innovation and providing vivid information on human body structures.
In society, the future of social media will definitely change the way we access and share digital information. One can point a mobile camera at anything in the world to receive contextual information.
In economics, AR offers an efficient method for searching for places located nearby, such as book shops and restaurants. By capturing a book using the application, a user can conveniently look for nearby book shops that sell the specific book cheaply.
Obviously, AR is helpful in finding information. However, it is not always effective. In South Korea, many cases of AR abuse exist.
Dangerous Breaches of Privacy
Although AR can be used to access various information, it can negatively affect privacy of personal information by sharing too much miscellaneous data. Fortunately, not many Koreans are affected by this, because they remain anonymous and maintain their information security. However, technological illiterates risk dangerous breaches of privacy when using GPS. No fatal consequences have occurred, but formally, this will be the direst problem facing use of AR. As the technology becomes increasingly common, concerns regarding malicious defamation and invasion of privacy are raised. Malicious information may be posted to stores or personal spaces, or meaningless air tags may overflow the background screen. A solution suggested by Samsung Economic Research Institute involves a filter function that selects or expresses only the information that users want to see; a system able to automatically distinguish the utility of information will be necessary to block transmission of this malicious data.
In the future, privacy regulation will become a larger problem than it is based on today’s information saturation levels.
Drawbacks to Social Life
Social indifference could be a negative outcome of widespread use of AR applications. Addiction often causes people to stop meeting in person. If a person becomes addicted to AR social networks or games, they may begin to live in augmented reality rather than true reality.
Similarly, term “kidult” has arisen to describe adults who act like children. So-called “kidults” are fickle. They enjoy playing games like children, and commonly lack a spirit of independence, causing mental regression. The cause of this phenomenon is social maladjustment. Thus, AR may interrupt these individuals’ daily lives and work in their company. For example, AR games could cause kidults to stay home and contribute nothing of importance to society.
Pokémon Go is Dangerous!
AR, like any mobile media technology, presents some real physical security concerns. In Sokcho, tourists play Pokémon Go instead of enjoying their trip. Some people even play while driving, resulting in accidents and traffic offenses. Additionally, in Japan, a university student’s purse was snatched away while she was playing Pokémon Go on her bicycle. Because of these issues, we must consider whether Pokémon Go will be worthwhile and beneficial in South Korea. Undoubtedly, preventable traffic accidents will occur if Pokémon Go becomes available.
The development of AR technology will be a driving force in the world. However, the technology carries shortcomings that may cause discomfort and unhappiness. Therefore, as AR continues to develop, this lack of security must be more stringently addressed.
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