Story image

Early lessons from Pokemon Go

14 Jul 2016

I seem to have woken up from a deep slumber a few days ago to a new world. Check that – a world that was slightly different form what it was just a week before. The evidence of this was demonstrated in two ways:

(1) every other news item, article or Facebook post was suddenly about Pokemon Go

(2) about three times as many people as usual walking around on the streets almost crashed into me…all of them were mumbling “Pokemon…” something.

[In case you have been asleep, Pokemon Go allows people to hunt for Pokemon (short for “pocket monsters” for the VERY uninitiated) “gyms” or locations in the real world as they walk around; scenery and eventually, Pokemon, are superimposed over the world people walk around within (actually, the world is augmented with Pokemon). When you find  them, you capture them in “normal” Pokemon style methods, and I am NOT going to explain those or what a Squirtle is.]

In no uncertain terms, Pokemon Go has brought augmented reality (AR, or mixed reality/MR, as some call it) to the masses. I’ve seen other great examples of AR and even virtual reality (VR), but there’s nothing that – good or bad – has caught the world by storm quite like this. Clearly, it’s helped Nintendo (to the tune of billions of dollars added to its market cap almost instantly). But what else can it help?

Pokemon Go shows us the potential for augmented reality in our daily lives. Any second now, brands will begin to take advantage of everyone walking around hunting Pokemon, either by promoting their locations as Pokemon gyms or rest stops or whatever; those same brands, local merchants or others could easily show up in the game. And just like Nintendo and Niantic (the company behind Pokemon Go that had been spun from Google some time ago), those same entities could easy sell virtual products or services inside the game via microtransactions — if I were Starbucks, for example, selling virtual coffee credits that could be used in real locations to help fuel my hunt for Pokemon (which could easily be linked to Starbucks mobile accounts) could be a layup, for example.

At the same time, there have been security concerns (Niantic opens access to all your Google accounts and emails when you sign up! Well, not really! OK, whatever it was has been fixed!), safety concerns (driving while Pokemon Go-ing — yes, it’s already an issue) and social concerns (both the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery have both asked players not to play in and to respect their environments). Here again, brands can take note and tailor their own AR experiences to address particular needs, concerns or opportunities.

Whether Pokemon Go represents a cultural and technical disruption or a fad remains to be determined, but this blogger believes it is absolutely a disruption if only because of the massive demonstration of how effective and consuming AR can be. And even if what is disrupted near term is my ability to walk in a straight line in any urban setting, I think it’s still significant.

Article by David Yockelson, research VP at Gartner

50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
IDC: A/NZ second highest APAC IoT spenders per capita
New IDC forecast expects the Internet of Things spending in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan to reach US$381.8 Billion by 2022.
Xero launches new data capture product in NZ
“Data automation is the fastest growing app category on the Xero app marketplace so we know there is a hunger for these types of tools."
Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
Four ways the technology landscape will change in 2019
Until now, organisations have only spoken about innovative technologies somewhat theoretically. This has left people without a solid understanding of how they will ultimately manifest in our work and personal lives.
IDC: Top 10 trends for NZ’s digital transformation
The CDO title is declining, 40% of us will be working with bots, the Net Promoter Score will be key to success, and more.
Kiwi partner named in HubSpot’s global top five
Hype & Dexter is an Auckland-based agency that specialises in providing organisations with marketing automation solutions.