Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch Series 2
Pokemon Go on the Apple Watch
Welcome to the World of Pokemon
By now it seems that almost everyone has heard of Pokemon Go whether it be through social media, online news sources/articles or word of mouth.
But if you don't know what it is, then think of it as an interactive Snapchat filter. Your goal is to capture these tiny creatures called Pokemon within your real world environment using GPS tracking.
Within the mobile app, you see your character placed in a Google maps world with various landmarks and buildings based on your location. When you see a Pokemon (pocket monster) nearby, you click on it and suddenly it arrives within your live camera view.
You toss fictional Pokeballs to try to capture the Pokemon, which you can then level up, evolve, transfer for candy currency, and use to battle at Pokemon gyms represented by nearby places.
Pokemon in Real Life
This is the type of game where seeing is believing and no amount of explaining will make sense to someone who has no idea what Pokemon are, what augmented reality is, and what this game's mechanics are.
It's important to understand what augmented reality is because this game is the first widespread unveiling of mixed reality.
Many already know what virtual reality is because we've heard about it since the 1990's and products like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have been spotlighted to consumers and the public.
- Augmented reality is newer than virtual reality but it's not an alien concept.
More people have witnessed mixed reality than they realize with products like Google Glass and various furniture apps that allow you to place and see virtual items in your home.
Augmented reality puts fictional objects in the real world, but unlike virtual reality, it doesn't remove your environment. Think of it as placing holograms around you that aren't actually there.
The concept may be fickle to understand at first, but it gets easier over time.
The Pokemon Go Killer App
Why Apple Needs Pokemon
The Apple Watch hasn't been the product the company's hoped for since its launch.
Its software was buggy, the apps were difficult to navigate, and there wasn't much use for it. That may be changing with future software upgrades like watchOS 3. These updates intend to redesign the original, flawed structure with much needed features and less lag.
However the Apple Watch needs its "aha" moment in order to become the major hit it should've been.
- Apple Watch's "aha" moment could arrive with Pokemon Go.
Think about it, the biggest issue with Go is that you always need to have your phone out to play, which is risky, dangerous, and impractical. We can't be wasting our phone and draining our battery on one gaming app.
Having Pokemon Go on wearable devices makes sense. It would be far easier to access, you won't have to sacrifice your phone, and it would be easier to hear/feel Pokemon Go notifications when there's a creature nearby.
Not only that but pairing the most successful mobile game ever that helped Nintendo rise from the dead with the flailing Apple brand would be marketing match made in heaven.
These two companies need each other, and a product like the Apple Watch with these mixed reality type games would fit so well together.
Pokemon Go does have its own wrist worn accessory, Pokemon Go Plus, but this is merely a nice-looking notifier that can't do what an Apple product can.
While I don't know how long the Go craze will last, I'm confident that it's not going away anytime soon because of the brand's popularity. Nintendo is also poised to start making more headlines when their new console launches in March 2017.
Big things are ahead for one game giant, but even bigger things may happen if they paired with another tech superstar.
The Future of Augmented Reality
Where Does Augmented Reality Go?
Augmented reality is one of the most hyped ideas in tech next to autonomous vehicles, but is the hype worth it?
I've read countless stories stating that Pokemon Go's success will lead to the widespread acceptance of augmented reality, but will it?
One terrifying portrayal of hyper-reality makes me think that we should wait and see what happens next. In the video above, there's so much mixing going on that we can't keep up.
That's a real fear, which makes me think that future products like Microsoft's Hololens or Magic Leap are going to face a tough road ahead.
Pokemon Go's success has more to say about the Pokemon brand, Nintendo, and nostalgia than it does about augmented reality.
In order for augmented reality to flourish it needs these 5 things:
- Affordable price
- Ease of Use
- Transcendent Need for Usage
The first issue addresses the money problem because accessibility stems from price and access to products that replicate mixed reality.
For example, virtual reality is well-known but not mainstream because the cost of VR products is out of reach for most and it's too limiting.
The next issue deal with compatibility, which is similar to access but also how well augmented reality can blend into your environment. Can it do what phone does and be involved daily, can it give us something we can't live without?
Finally the last two points deal with ease of use and how well it'll transcend across different demos. Will augmented reality be easy to use and how will it translate across multiple demographics?
If it's too difficult to use, then you'll shut out older age groups that aren't as tech savvy as younger ones.
If it doesn't translate well, then businesses and future innovations will suffer. You can't succeed with augmented reality if any of those five points go haywire.
Where Does Nintendo Go Next?
Future of Nintendo
Pokemon Go is the first time we've seen Nintendo and its partners release a mobile game that we want to see.
I can only say that it's about time Nintendo. Mobile gaming is getting more popular and impressive as our phones become powerful computing units..
Nintendo is finally opening up to mobile apps and we're likely to see more titles in the near future, but that's not all.
We're also going to see a new Legend of Zelda game and a brand new console for early 2017 that'll hopefully erase the low profits of the Wii U.
If everything goes as planned, then this historic gaming behemoth could revive its nostalgic golden age and introduce interactive entertainment for a new era of kids and teens.
Pokemon Go has generated huge stock booms for the company and with new games, a new console, and more mobile games, Nintendo has a very bright future ahead.