People glued to their desktops, laptops, mobile phones and tablets now have the chance to interact, collect and have fun in augmented reality (Pokémon Go - AR zombies ). Just like zombies looking around the next trophy.
Was it a complicated process to make this revolutionary massive movement? The answer is no. There are already a couple of similar augmented reality games in existence. I myself have tested and played one such game, called Mosquito, on my Siemens SX1 mobile phone already in 2006 if I remember correctly. Back then, of course, online communities and the social aspect of gaming in the real world was nowhere near as advanced as today.
The game has enabled a revolution in driving traffic to long forgotten, distant businesses that now get a chance to be a stop on every Pokémon Go player’s route to ‘catching them all’. Effectively, these businesses that have become Pokéstops or Gyms now have a free marketing campaign outside the front door. How fantastic is that? What a great way to utilize the infrastructure of mobile technology across the globe!
I guess that at some point in your career you have encountered Google AdWords. Pokémon Go could be considered as working in much the same way. Characters, instead of words and phrases, will gain and lose popularity and impact over time, meaning that both the game makers and the businesses that have different characters hanging out in their stores and offices will see ebbs and flows in traffic from game players. I question whether the game will show as much longevity and success as AdWords and am looking forward to seeing if you can buy/rent or invest in characters in the same clever but simple way that the initial Google AdWords commercial business model.
Places flooded with Pokémons are receiving more and more attention. People are gathering together to cooperate, to compete and have fun. I hope that this in itself does not pose a risk, especially in light of recent events at large gatherings, such as that in Nice.
Collecting Pokémons should always be safe, with no characters being placed in the middle of roads, on private property or anywhere else where someone could be injured. Connecting the app to Google Maps is a simple way to solve this, I guess.
The game could actually have a positive impact on security and safety. Airports and other vulnerable locations to acts of terrorism could test processes and procedures by linking with the game makers to place characters in places gamers shouldn’t be able to access – and then seeing if any of the Pokémon get caught.
One more thing intrigues me about the game. If the game is to stay at the top of its game, so to speak, for at least the next two years, I wonder how much influence it will have on NVidia, Intel and AMD innovation. Home computing and entertainment systems have evolved exponentially and for the first time in decades, the speed of R&D in these areas is not keeping up with demand in line with Moore’s Law due to technological limitations. It is obvious, though, that mobile gaming is yet again revolutionizing the market, however, it will need to rely on miniaturizing existing technology rather than focusing on R&D into new technology that isn’t yet ready to be developed.
I found one Pokémon in my garden. I haven’t shared the game with my kids though. I will let my daughter fly around the neighbourhood ‘catching them all’ once I know that the risk factors aren’t risk factors any more.
What are your thoughts?