Should Business Care About Pokemon Go

Why Businesses Should Care About Pokemon Go

There’s a Doduo right outside the window. In the garden.”

“Got it.”

“Go red team!”

For some members of the Innate team, arriving at the office this morning was a chance to discover new Pokémon in and around our office building in Dupont Circle. For others, it seemed like a foreign language or a blast from the past.

In case you missed it (or are wondering why everyone is wandering around on the street staring at their phones even more than usual), there’s a new version of Pokémon that has everyone excited again – even those who weren’t caught up in the game the first time.

The new version – called Pokémon Go – is an app that you download to your smartphone or mobile device. By accessing your GPS and camera, it creates an Augmented Reality – imposing Pokémon characters over the real world around you. You capture the Pokémon using balls you collect from notable places around town such as monuments, historical markers and outdoor art. (We’re lucky that Washington, DC has lots of those – we have a few right next to our office.)

Why should you care?

Pokémon Go is an evolution of a previous game called Ingress and it uses many of the same locations. While many of the locations are public, like monuments and churches, some have inadvertently been private homes, leading to some awkward moments. Some businesses that were previously included have already been overrun and are putting up signs to restrict access.

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How can it help your business?

The game was more popular at launch than the developers imagined. As a result, the servers have been slow and plagued with outages. For now, there are no new locations being added, but it’s not a great leap to imagine that a major revenue stream will be having businesses pay to be included in the game (along with a feature to limit their hours).

What other effects will this have?

Look for more augmented reality apps. And start shopping for Pokémon toys and games now. We have a feeling they will be the hot ticket again come Christmas.

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