Pokemon Go and the rise of augmented reality

Speaking at the World Mobile Conference in Barcelona, in February this year, Mark Zuckerberg commented ‘We’re making a long term bet that immersive, virtual and augmented reality will become part of people’s daily lives’ and his prediction is coming to fruition.

Child Playing Pokemon GoAugmented reality has been making strides in recent years, from the launch of Google Glass back in 2013 to the recently released Microsoft HoloLens, the big players are all getting in on the act. But no product has captured the public’s imagination more so than the phenomenon of Pokemon Go.

First launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand, Pokemon Go is sweeping the world and quickly became the biggest mobile app in American history. Let’s look at the stats:

Within three days of release, it attracted more users than Tinder and rose to the top of the App Store revenue charts, earning millions of dollars a day for its publisher, Niantic.

It attracted just under 21 million daily active users, surpassing Candy Crush Saga’s rumoured peak

At its current rate of growth, it is on track to surpass Snapchat on Android.

The 13th July marked the UK launch and the success in the US is being emulated here.

The beauty of Pokemon Go is that it doesn’t just appeal to the younger audience, it’s rapidly becoming water-cooler talking point (maybe even with a Pokemon hiding behind it!)

Twitter is flooded with stories about Pokemon Go's impact on players' anxiety and depression, with thousands of people crediting the game with getting them out of the house and making it easier to interact with people.

Doctors are hailing health benefits and the apps ability to get children out of the house and moving around and interacting with their environment.

However, the game has not come without criticism, the US Holocaust Museum has recently issued a statement appealing to players to refrain from ‘catching’ Pokemon when they visit, after game makers placed the desirable characters in inappropriate areas.

A disturbing case in America reports four men being arrested after using the app to locate people to rob. Players are able to place beacons near landmarks and these thieves placed them near Pokestops to attract their victims.

With Pokemon Go set to consume the nation and the school summer holidays approaching it’s important your children to remain safe while playing this game in the real world, where there is real danger.

Keep your children safe this summer by giving them this simple advice. Set boundaries for your children and enforce them.

Follow our top tips:

  • Pokemon Go is designed to be played on foot - don’t allow children to ride their bike or skateboard while playing the app
  • Make sure they play with friends in pairs or groups to ensure their safety
  • Know who your child is with
  • Warn them to be aware of their surroundings; traffic, strangers, unfamiliar areas
  • Do not trespass on private property
  • Warn them of strangers who may use the app to interact with them
  • Ensure they take supplies of food and water
  • Ensure they have enough battery life in case of an emergency
  • Beware of their data allowance, the app uses GPS which consumes a lot of data, it becomes extremely costly if data limits are exceeded

Have fun and stay safe playing and catching your Pokemon, because you gotta catch ‘em all!

June 2019
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