The fun game with Augmented Reality called Pokemon Go released 2 weeks ago and has managed to conquer users of mobile gadgets around the world in such a short period of time. People of any age, even older than 30 years, install it with curiosity and then catch a naughty Pokemon with a mobile phone screen.
The idea that excited the public is not new. Basically, people are attracted by the opportunity to hunt for animated characters from the popular Japanese cartoon through the screen of their gadget in the real world and in real-time.
In fact, Pokemons are not friendly here. They show their teeth and attack, while users are trying to catch them through the smartphone. Probably, just this thing brings a charm to the gameplay.
Everything new is well forgotten old. The technology used in this game is not new too. The term ‘Augmented Reality’ was proposed by Ronald Azuma in 1997. Then, it was still being talked after the Google Glass release. Augmented Reality is an opportunity to combine virtual and real objects. In other words, the image of the real environment becomes augmented with a virtual layer that we can see through a mobile camera. Suchwise, virtual objects become a part of our reality, and we can interact with them. Often, similar applications are various mobile guides and geolocation services that allow you to see virtual anchors of snack bars, sights and locations of friends through your phone camera. In the Pokemon Go game, Augmented Reality is implemented slightly different, and we would say, it does not occupy the whole game process. Substantially, it is just a mobile game with drawn characters. When the user enters into it, he can select his virtual avatar (male or female), choosing his desired appearance (hair colour, clothes). Then he moves in the virtual space, looking for Pokemons nearby, and when they are found, the most interesting part of the entertainment begins. Trying to catch a Pokémon, you can switch from the virtual mode to the AR mode, and the same Pokémon will appear in your real environment – among the furniture of the room or among trees and buildings outdoors. Just watch via the mobile camera accurately and catch them.
To catch a Pokemon, you need to throw ultraball that is a trap for them. All caught Pokémons go to your personal collection, called Pokedex.
You can also buy additional bonuses to improve your ultraballs and purchase baits for Pokemons. So, an owner of an American cafe was able to increase sales by 30% due to buying baits for these animated characters. While Pokemons were accumulating in his cafe, people came there to catch them. This idea was quickly picked up by marketers. Now, the network is filled with different hashtags and social groups that help to track Pokemon dislocation. The owners of taxi business, catering and some entertainment companies try to lure many Pokemons to use them as baits for visitors.
However, other marketers deny this opinion, arguing that the fact of person’s entering is not a guarantee of making a purchase. There is a high risk of a funnel with zero or even negative conversions, because, sometimes, users of the app do not always coincide with the target audience of your business. These marketers maintain that such companies made losses due to massively attended users of the app, which were littering, making a noise and buying nothing. Nevertheless, it is just an opinion, and we can’t assure that those companies made their business well.
Once, Augmented Reality has been very popular. However, last years, demand for AR slightly goes down. Recently we created many projects with Augmented Reality technology.
Thereby, we hope that explosive popularity of Pokemon Go will prove all the efficiency of AR technology. After all, such projects could be much more, and we just have a lot of ideas for their implementation. So, let us share them with you.