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July 2018

Entering a hidden world with AR

Augmented reality opens up a world that is invisible to the naked eye. This technology may also offer promising investment opportunities.

With augmented reality, it becomes possible to explore a world that would otherwise remain hidden. ‘In a sense, the same can be said about the way we use innovative developments as a valuable tool in helping us discover promising investments. Augmented reality and other new developments could make us aware of investment opportunities that do not yet show up in financial numbers’, says Sylvie Sejournet, comanager of the Pictet-Digital fund. ‘It provides us with a much broader view than if we were to focus solely on analysis of financial results.’ 
Unlike virtual reality, which requires you to inhabit an entirely virtual environment, augmented reality simply overlays virtual information onto your existing natural environment. These overlays can be viewed through a device, such as a smartphone. Users of augmented reality experience a new and improved natural world. As a result, virtual information can be used as a tool to provide assistance in everyday activities.

Slip into the shoes of a wizard

With the launch of the game Pokémon GO in 2016, augmented reality grabbed a place in the spotlight. Within three weeks, the game had already been downloaded more than 50 million times 1. Augmented reality might be the center of media attention again later this year with the introduction of the new game Wizards Unite. The game allows users to become a wizard and experience a virtual world based on the successful Harry Potter character. 

Going forward, augmented reality has the potential to impact our everyday lives in many different ways

Sylvie Sejournet, Co-Manager Pictet Digital Fund
‘Up until now, the technology of augmented reality is mostly associated with games’, explains Sejournet. ‘These applications are only the tip of the iceberg. As camera and smartphone technologies continue to improve, the possibilities will increase immensely. Just think of all the different uses in the medical industry. For example, a technology company is already working on augmented reality headsets for surgeons performing spinal surgery 2. These glasses can project the patients spine in 3D. Going forward, augmented reality has the potential to impact our everyday lives in many different ways’, says Sejournet.