TechSpot

Pokemon Go is an AR watershed

By Jos
Jul 12, 2016
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  1. No, it’s not the first and no, it’s not the best. But, there is no question that the incredible success of the Pokemon Go game is an absolute watershed moment for augmented reality.

    Despite serious questions about security issues (both digital and physical), battery life impact and cloud infrastructure support, among other issues, the game’s incredible, nearly overnight success now means that no one will ever need to explain what augmented reality is to almost anyone.

    “You know, like Pokemon Go.” “Oh, got it.”

    Simple though that may sound, it’s huge. And it’s something that this still fledgling technology really needed.

    The truth is, augmented reality and virtual reality are technologies that are very difficult to explain to people who haven’t had the chance to actually try them. Many tech industry insiders seem to be glossing over this as a non-issue, but for these technologies to really go mainstream at any time in the future, this is exactly what needed to happen. So, it’s important to recognize the Pokemon Go phenomenon for what it is—a game changing opportunity that sets the stage, eventually, for the success of other augmented reality-based applications and devices.

    At the same time, it’s important to point out that this does not mean we will soon see a raft of successful AR-based games and other applications. We will undoubtedly see an enormous number of AR-related launches, regardless of how quickly (or not) the Pokemon Go craze fades out, but the vast majority will have little to no impact whatsoever.

    As many others have rightly pointed out, the combination of Pokemon, smartphones, GPS, and AR is a match made in heaven—and one that won’t be easily captured again, at least to this degree. The ephemeral and cartoon nature of Nintendo’s famous characters, as well as the whole gestalt of what Pokemon are, and have been, to the critical millennial audience that’s at the heart of this craze, makes the Pokemon Go phenomenon a singularly unique opportunity. It is well-timed, and in spite of the concerns mentioned at the beginning, seemingly well executed.

    Still, the fact that hundreds of millions of people are getting their first direct exposure and personal experience with augmented reality—simple though it may be—can’t help but be a boost to the future of this exciting new technology.

    The fact that hundreds of millions of people are getting their first direct exposure and personal experience with augmented reality—simple though it may be—can’t help but be a boost to the future of this exciting new technology.

    Plus, Pokemon Go is providing a number of other interesting and unexpected benefits to augmented reality, particularly around physical activity and social interaction. In an age where technology usage has led to people sitting and staring blankly into their smartphone screen as the sad new normal, the phenomenon of people moving around and talking to each other because of their tech devices is an incredibly refreshing change—short-lived though it may be.

    The social impact and success of Pokemon Go also raises questions about virtual reality, which tends to be much more of an individual experience. Yes, there is work being done to make virtual reality applications more social, but the nature of the experience makes these efforts more challenging. Whether this will matter in the long run is hard to say at this point, but I think the surprisingly social nature of Pokemon Go should make VR device and application makers do some serious thinking about what lessons they can learn from it.

    For augmented reality device makers, the challenge will be to show people why they need a dedicated device. If they can get the simple, but satisfying AR experience they want from a “regular” smartphone, they’re going to have to build a compelling value argument for why people need to make the leap to a separate AR device.

    Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that we’re just talking about a smartphone game. Given the very finicky and quickly changing tastes of mobile gamers, Pokemon Go may not even make it as a historical footnote for this year. Still, it has the feel of being something that will have a somewhat longer-lasting impact, particularly because of the manner in which it’s introducing people to a new concept.

    It’s easy to forget how difficult it is for critical tech breakthroughs to reach mainstream acceptance. But the simple, silly experience of capturing Pokemon through the compute and sensor-equipped devices we all carry—our smartphones—is going to introduce an enormous number of people to a completely different way of thinking about how tech devices can change (and improve) the manner in which they interact with the world around them. In my mind, that’s an important step forward.

    Bob O’Donnell is the founder and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a technology consulting and market research firm. You can follow him on Twitter . This article was originally published on Tech.pinions.

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  2. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,508   +498

    Holy cow... I can't get around the idea this game sucks huge time (For me at least) and it's a reference already, all you do is go around and throw pokeballs, yet it has been received like Obama for his first time, like he was Jesus or something.

    I seriously can't, not sure if it is because of Ingres and how this is an exact clone but with pokemons (That don't fight, like pokemon game should), that it is not under any standard what they marketed or that I can't understand what's fun of walking and clicking the screen. In all fairness, this was already being done by Ingres (Exactly the same but without pokemons, maybe more polished) although they lacked the marketing pokemon has.
     
  3. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,898   +941

    I think you wanted to make that Obama reference more than you wanted to talk about pokemon
     
  4. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 849   +336

    I don't get the whole Pokemon thing, not just the game. Why the hell is it so popular around adult people?
     
  5. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,177   +578

    It's not a good pokemon game but I think people really like the pokemon universe, especially the original set of pokemon. Strong initial fanbase + good advertising + interesting universe = popular game.
     
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,554   +2,894

    I didn't want anything to do with Pokemon when they came out. This new Pokemon fad that been out the last week has been giving me headaches. Pokemon this, Pokemon that! When will it stop? They're about as stupid as Barney.
     
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,606   +287

    I know!!! Right?!?! What the hell is the appeal.
     
  8. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Enthusiast Posts: 69   +43

    Once again, I wish I had thought of it first. The new marketing/development paradigm for US companies just has to be "Stupid is as stupid does" and we will pull ourselves right out of this recession. (Facebook, Pokemon, etc). I guess I'm just too smart to create anything of astronomical value. Well, back to selling women's shoes.....
     
  9. m3tavision

    m3tavision TS Rookie

    This is a game for the socially retarded, who must play at a game of cutzy, with life.... because they are not secure enough to live in the real world.

    It works in japan & asia where they are social barriers. But somewhere like in the United States, pokemon is for adolescent youth, or those clinging to nostalgia. Many mid-twenty year olds still have not grown up & out of their parents basement yet.


    If you have to hours to waste, why would anyone human, choose to spend it with pokemon?
     
  10. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Rookie Posts: 26   +15

    Pokemon was a phenomenon starting in the mid-90's. Fast foward 20 years with the biggest Pokemon related game using the original concepts and characters and you have a lot of happy 25-30 year olds.
     
  11. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Rookie Posts: 26   +15

    You don't seem to have an understanding of the game, yet are quick to knock it down. There is a lot more to it than "throwing pokeballs". And this is the first revision of the game...I guarantee some awesome features will be added. And yes, there is battling at Gyms. But do you really think Nintendo is going to neglect this game and its potential after an ungodly popular launch?
     
  12. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,508   +498

    Yeah a lot of revisions and features... yeah... look at Ingres and tell me how many revisions new feature it has. There is not a lot more to it, it's exactly that, throw a pokeball, catch a pokemon, keep walking, get a better CP pokemon, discard old one, go to pokestop get items, rinse and repeat. Now you'll try to explain to me how it makes sense for you to level up but not your pokemons, lol.
     
  13. gusticles41

    gusticles41 TS Rookie Posts: 26   +15

    I, and the majority of others, have never heard of Ingress before this. This is flippin' Nintendo + Niantic. If they don't continue to add *worthwhile* features then it'd be a disappointment, and a lot of money lost on their part. You said it - They have the Pokemon market now. I could see this really turning into a more complex game.
     
  14. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,750   +1,105

    I grew out of my parents house long ago, but that doesn't mean I can't hum the theme to Legend of Zelda anymore. I won't judge anyone on their enjoyment of nostalgia... maybe you don't understand because I'd you're not old enough yet. You've got the prejudice thing worked out though... and the online shaming... and the hitting with your words... and the leetspeak name.

    For people like - I don't know what a Pokemon is or what I'm supposed to do in Minecraft, but to each their own.
     
    Kibaruk likes this.
  15. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,038   +269

  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,038   +269

    I think techspot needs a "political" forum. However, that would likely cause a number TS members to get permanently stuck within the forum's schwarzschild radius. LOL
     
  17. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Enthusiast Posts: 36   +6

    Finally the answer to the most used parental question is answered: "If your friends jump off a cliff, would you also?"

    answer by half the world's population: "yes"
     
  18. unloco101

    unloco101 TS Rookie

    A lot of 30ish year old people grew up when Pokemon made its mark with the TCG. It's nostalgia at its best.
     
  19. unloco101

    unloco101 TS Rookie

    Not understanding how pokemon is related to suicide.
     
  20. Madmaxneo

    Madmaxneo TS Member Posts: 28

    Maybe involuntary suicide. Most have heard about the interstate accident in MA. http://www.cartelpress.com/pokemon-go-major-highway-accident-man-stops-middle-highway-catch-pikachu/

    But it seems that the game takes ones focus away from paying attention to their surroundings and it is just time until something worse happens.
     
    wiyosaya likes this.
  21. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 1,038   +269

    And here is another "accident report" http://www.whec.com/news/pokemon-go-crash-auburn-new-york/4198391/

    Yes, definitely an AR watershed, and candidate for the most Darwin awards yet.
     
  22. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,508   +498

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