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Pokemon Go shows that augmented reality games are the future

Pokemon Go shows that augmented reality games are the future

Pokemon Go shows that augmented reality games are the future

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On Sunday, a relative I know took a group of teenage girls to the Newseum in Washington, ostensibly to familiarize themselves with the newsgathering business. Instead, one of the girls said they spend “about 60% of the time playing Pokémon Go.”

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However, the girls might have been on to it, as relatively few news stories have been as viral in recent days as the Pokemon Go craze in the US, Japan and Australia.

Nearly 6% of Android devices had augmented reality Pokemon Go installed at some point over the weekend, making it more popular than Tinder and capturing twice as much usage time as Snapchat, as maker Nintendo saw its market value increase by $7.5 billion since then. the game’s release last week.

(Also see: How to download, install and play Pokemon Go right now)

Early reports described it as a gaming phenom, attributing the activity to the popularity of Pokemon – a surge that I heard multiple times over the weekend “even got my teenager to go out” with a device. . (To play, you pull out and look at your smartphone to bring up an animated version of Google Maps, in which you see the Pokémon creatures you’re trying to capture.)

But in truth, this type of activity is now fast becoming the new norm.

For decades, technology and gaming companies have increased the sense of total player immersion in virtual realities. But now, isn’t the biggest digital frontier going back to reality-reality? Only now it is increased through your mobile device.

(Also see: How to play Pokemon Go in India? Here’s everything you need to know)

The brains behind Pokémon Go had extensive experience working with Google apps that rely on satellites to track the Earth’s surface.

Now, what’s stopping the Comcasts, Apples, Amazons and Disneys of the world from making our naturally 3D world the exciting new realm of augmented exploration on a scale as massive as Pokémon Go?

The standard line about the future has long been that we were promised jet-packs. Or personal drones. Or self-driving cars. Well, we may well need standalone jet packs to satisfy the natural craving for augmented gaming. Games like Microsoft’s Minecraft and Google’s Ingress (also, like Niantic Labs’ Pokemon Go) have been key milestones on the way to this crux; now the format seems ready to be released to the masses.

(Also see: Pokemon Go Cheatsheet: 10 things to know about the game that has everyone hooked)

There too, there are a host of new cottage industries to tap into from this trend. How long before there are reality programs and game shows built around competitors armed with mobile devices in the augmented “real world”? Or how long until you play those interactive games televised internationally by media and entertainment giants?

Any chance to add this at the last minute to the Rio/Zika Olympics in jeopardy? The augmented marathon? Now that I would listen.

Pokémon Go has reintroduced many device enthusiasts to the wonders of the natural world, albeit through a screen – as you spot hundreds of Pokémon creatures appearing, for example, on local landmarks. The global possibilities are profound.

If only Mother Nature had thought to equip the planet with natural charging stations.

Natural life meets battery life. What a concept.

A planet thanks you, Pikachu.

© 2016 The Washington Post

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