It doesn’t matter if Pokémon Go is a fad — it has already made a dent in the world

Pokémon Go has struck the world with an incredible impact. In one week the average time spent on the game has trumped Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook, making more than $1.9m a day.

And in the meantime, Pokémon Go players have already crashed into trees, run across dead bodies, been hit by cars, and fallen off cliffs.

The question that many people are asking now is if Pokémon is just a fad. One that will cool down past Summer Sixteen. And the truth is that, it much probably will — we just don’t know how much yet.

But does this matter for everyone besides Nintendo and Niantic?

The answer is no.

Pokémon Go will probably slow down, but the momentum it brought to AR and its effect on the world is not.

Pokémon Go turned into the first huge AR (Augmented Reality) vehicle and it’s now teaching the population about the technology — the general population now understands what AR is, and some of its potential.

Pokémon Go is going to invert (at least to some extent) the concept of gaming as a sedentary and isolation practice.

Pokémon Go is showing people the powerful applications of AR for education purposes.

Pokémon Go is teaching businesses how to capitalize AR games in their favor. For example, small businesses are buying lure modules to attract more Pokémons to their doors, they are offering discounts to teams that own the Pokemon Gym nearest their store, and announcing on social media which rare pokémons they can catch nearby their buildings. It’s maybe the first mobile app that has a significant impact on local social marketing.

And if things go well for these businesses, they will probably be looking for the next AR game or app. In other words, Pokémon Go has just created a new opportunity for others to come.

In the following months a big number of copy cat games and several apps will shift into the AR world creating a whole new experience (Tinder for AR, anyone?). And, even if they are not as good as Pokémon, and certainly not as nostalgic, since people are now more receptive to AR the entrance of others to come will be much easier. Slowly, AR will be a part of UX as common as touch screens.

In the coming years, AR (and VR) will keep improving exponentially, making the technology much more interesting than it’s today. It will be amazing times to follow and, whatever happens with Pokémon Go, its impact on the world has already been made.

“The next big thing will start out looking like a toy.” — Chris Dixon

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Whitesmith is a web and mobile product development studio.
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