Gaming is moving into the real world. The much talked about ascendence of Augmented Reality is here with the new Pokémon GO App.
Since the release of Pokémon GO (an app for Android and iPhone), shares of Nintendo have gone up by 50% (£7bn) as players race to join this trailblazing new game.
Unusually for a video game, this app rewards players for going outside and interacting with other players in the real world. Using your phone's GPS and camera you'll see virtual Pokémon layered on the real world and be able to "fling" balls to "capture" them. You will be asked to join one of three teams and work with fellow team members on challenges and battles.
The app is not yet available worldwide and there have already been reports of accidents as players trip as they focus on their smartphones whilst out and about. Even more disturbing, The Guardian includes a report that armed criminals have used the location feature of the app to target victims in less populated locations.
However, there is no doubt that this is the start of things to come and the expectation that AR will outstrip VR in terms of revenue earned from applications is predicted to happen by 2019 (source: Digi-Capital). The potential to partner with game creators to, for instance, locate sponsored AR features in your theme park or zoo to encourage visitation or promote an event, is just one of the ways that this new technology could be applicable to attractions.