We are now entering an era of true science fiction, the likes of which Asimov and Bradbury imagined decades ago. Within our very reach are creatures superimposed upon our world. I see the possibility for so much more, and I see Pokemon Go if not taking us there, then at least leading the charge.
Niantic had a decent start with Ingress, a game that was reskinned to become the title with over 75 million downloads in a few weeks. What we did not realize was that Ingress really was just a front for something greater than itself. I believe those at Niantic are true visionaries and are willing to think ahead. They planted us with Ingress to get a baseline for their true seller, Pokemon Go.
The timing for Pokemon Go was perfect. Those of us who remember growing up singing the iconic theme song to ourselves as we drifted off to sleep are now the majority consumer. We have been waiting for something that can bring us back to those childhood nights, and in came Pokemon Go. It has taken our generation over like no other game has. There’s no comparison for its growth and impact on mainstream media from the video game industry. This opens up vast possibilities for future gaming cultures that those at Niantic, and its investors Nintendo and Alphabet (Google’s parent company), cannot ignore.
Think of the current form of Pokemon Go as a beta for what is to come. Nintendo has already prepared the community for wearable devices associated with Pokemon Go, the Pokemon Go Plus. This just-delayed wearable device will let you capture a Pokemon visible to you with a click of a button. This is neat, but hardly visionary [Ed. Note: Think of the battery savings!].
Soon there will be more wearable tech to augment the augmented reality game. Could you imagine wearing a pair of glasses that overlaps the Pokemon World into your own? No longer would you have to watch your screen to see a Pokemon, but it would be right there in front of you. Google has this technology available. We know it as Google Glass, widely considered one of Google’s failed projects. I believe with the massive success of Augmented Reality games such as Pokemon Go, technology such as the glass will make a resurgence. Google has teased it is not giving up on Glass.
If we accept that we will be able to see an entirely new world overlaid upon ours the possibilities become endless. Even for Pokemon Go, with a few tweaks battles could take place in real time between opponents giving direct issues to their
Pokemon. Training your Pokemon could become akin to training your own pet, voice and hand commands that technology like Glass could recognize. Your local gym could become a training grounds for something so much bigger, tournaments comparable to those seen in the
very show itself.
This could be just the start for Pokemon Go and for AR games. A slight teaser for the next installment of Pokemon Go Glimpses into the Future of Gaming, Zelda Go anyone?