It's not all fun and games with Pokémon GO. There is some significant business learning already, even though this phenomenon is less than a month old.
- Artificial Reality (AR) is coming much faster than anyone thought. While many thought Virtual Reality (VR) would hit first, the arrival of the Pokémon GO (PGO) has created a surge in AR predictions that are leaving the more stationary VR in the dust. However, perhaps this shot across the bow of VR is just the first of the scrimmages.
- There is going to be a lot of money on the table. PGO is expected to rake in billions in the next few years. Like the Atari game Pong, Pokémon GO is only the first atom in a chain reaction of AR innovation and technology on their way to market. (Look where video games are now compared to the simple start with Pong.)
- We have not even maxed out PGO. It begs to be played without having to look at your phone and in MR (Mixed Reality, a mash up of AR and VR) where you can interact with the creatures. I wonder if MR is the technology that will be the next big thing?
- The advertising implications will come quickly. For example, businesses with their own version of Pokestops. What else could happen with a more sophisticated implementation?
- Consumers are not overloaded with new things. And the market is not set for the current sites and apps we visit. (Look out Google and Facebook?) If something simple like PGO can rise to No. 1 in downloads with the longest engagement time on the planet, 2x that of Facebook, according to Forbes.com, what will happen as more sophisticated implementations come along? Will we look back on a world of keywords and friend updates as old fashioned?
- PGO exposes the dichotomy of owning the physical space and owning the digital overlay of that space. It is a similar question to who owns the space above your house and how high does that space extend. Obviously, there are already laws establishing the ownership of the physical space, but laws dealing with the overlay of this space in the digital world haven't been established.
- Leveraging things that are or have been popular, and knowing what could be resurrected and be popular again, is important. Use of established hits like Pokémon when integrating/aligning might be the best way to sell a new technology and have the best opportunity for mass adoption.
- Never underestimate the ability of people to do dumb things. In the first few days of PGO, it seemed like everyone was vying for a place in the Darwin Awards: playing at the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, falling off of cliffs, running into police cars, being robbed and even getting run over by cars.
There will be more learning of course. But it's amazing how much has happened in less than a month.
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