Pokemon Go is causing genuine, positive social change - especially for people with mental illness. It's also likely to change technology for the better and provide businesses with new revenue sources and innovation. Here are ten things we've noticed:-
Phone battery life: We’ve been playing on a variety of phones – most Android devices with batteries under 3,000mAh (most have numbers between 2,500 and 2,850) barely last two hours with Pokemon Go running. Huawei’s Mate 8, with its 4,000mAh battery lasts longer but not by a huge amount. Strangely, we found that after two hours of playing on an iPhone 6S Plus, we still had almost half a charge left.
Nonetheless, people are looking at phone batteries as a priority now. Woe betides the next phone manufacturer which doesn’t realise this. When an app that consumes this much battery is bigger than Twitter, Snapchat, every other mobile game ever and, to some extent, Porn (SFW), you need to pay attention to customers’ changing needs.
Portable phone chargers: We asked a few providers whether they’d seen an upswing in battery pack sales since the game launched. In the US figures were obscured by the recent Amazon Prime sales. However, in Australia, online seller, Kogan tells a different story. Meanwhile, Anker in the US is offering Pokemon specials through official channels.
Tablets: You’ll see many kids walking round with tablets now. These hardcore players know they won’t last long with a phone (if they have one at all). Either way, walking around while looking at tablets is now a thing.
Location based services and marketing: There are tales from everywhere of businesses booming because they happened to have a Pokestop or Gym dumped on their doorstep or just outside it. We’ve heard the likes of Google and Yelp talk about the potential of location based marketing for years but it’s never taken hold… until now. There’ll be many clever marketing people scratching their heads about all the money they’ve spent trying to get people to go into local businesses due to alerts going off on their phones. Turns out what you needed wasn’t a complex marketing scheme but some cute cartoon creatures. Who knew? Some people are getting it while others aren’t. Others are offering tailored menu items. Quite a few are offering discounts to different teams. Kudos to Yelp – there’s now a "proximity to Pokemon Go locations" filter on its local search.
Events planners have already enquired about creating sponsored locations. They’re on the way.
Cheering up and fixing ill people: There have been many tales posted about Go genuinely helping people. Here’s one from a mental health worker at a children’s hospital. This quote is illustrative:
I was just talking to a patient with severe agoraphobia and socialization issues. This child has literally never spoken to more than 3 people at a time but was telling me about how he went out into his neighborhood last night and played GO with about 12 to 15 other children. His mother was actually in tears as she was telling me.
I've heard some stories about vets with trauma using GO as a good reason to get outside, now I'm seeing the benefits firsthand with the kids I work with and the game hasn't been out for more than a week.
This is proving to be a better social network than all the others combined. Actually, I'd say GO is the social network, whereas facebook and all the others are now Un-social networks.
This guy found company while doing chemo.
Tribalism: So apparently most of my 13-year-old son’s school is playing. One of his best friends is now being teased a lot because he picked up the game on day 2 and joined the Red Team. Big mistake. Only losers aren’t on Yellow or Blue. And what kind of oxygen thief joins Blue? Things are escalating. Hopefully, gang signs won’t become a thing.
Stock markets: Nintendo is now bigger than Sony and about to launch a miniature console full of classic games – We can’t be sure about this one but it would now be very surprising if this console didn’t take off and a new wave of casual gaming spread around the world. The sad thing is it would have people gaming inside instead of outside all over again.
Eliciting positive law enforcement engagement: All too often the establishment knee-jerks to the negative but police responses have generally been positively delivered. Here’s a Northern Territory station’s announcement about becoming a Pokestop. Meanwhile, Tennessee police used Pokemon to create a sensible traffic safety poster. Although the game is also promoting some “very serious” crime, apparently.
Upsetting the Westboro Baptist Church: Always a good thing.
Libraries are making a comeback. People are learning about history from Pokestops. This guy apparently got a date. People (not me, oh no) are getting confused with reality and instinctively reaching for their phones when they see a real-life pigeon. It's sending people on pub crawls. Waking gamers up to the fact that Non Playing Characters (NPCs) in video games – who just wonder around seemingly doing nothing in the middle of the night – are as real as anyone now. Creating innovation. Creating calls for new, massive-potential Augmented Reality games, like Harry Potter. Improving the world in general.