We don’t just need VR/AR/etc to take off. I think it can happen and will happen on mobile. I think Pokemon Go is a beacon for how different, new, and fun new experiences can still be on mobile. And I think some inventions in the next couple of years on our existing platforms are going to be revolutionary.
The Next Great Platform is the One That We Already Have
Josh Elman
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What I love about mobile is that it evolves as communication evolves. There are two areas for mobile that I’m personally interested in. 1. Emojis or “Stickers” — have yet to be fully explored for their capacity to transmit information quickly. For instance, one could embed information into them, or use them as links to other forms of content. A pin can send you to Google Maps, a pair of lips could reveal a discrete pic that “self-destructs” after its first view, and so on. 2. Spatial communication — Pokemon Go sorta gets at it but is highly dependant on the nostalgia that has been hardwired into a whole generation that grew up consuming its brand. So that in effect, playing the game is equivalent to immersing yourself in the wandering story you might have played hundreds of times as a kid — not to mention it has great built-in reward dynamics associated with collecting things, defeating gyms, and “leveling up”. However, without the brand, the game would not be as engaging. More to the point, the physical engagement people have been noticing when it comes to Pokemon has more to do with the power of crowds doing the same thing, performing the same way. In other words, what is powerful to me is that Pokemon Go evokes a silent collective acknowledgement amongst its participants solely on the way they shuffle their feet as they slowly walk and pause, walk and pause, and how they raise their arms to look “through” their screens. You know who is playing solely by reading their body movement, which is pretty fascinating. It further underscores the idea that powerful experiences in the future of mobile will extend beyond the screen by reinterpreting our relation to each other and the world around us.