Last week Pokémon Go swept the UK, and the Lucky 6 Offices. As Pokémon was a childhood favourite of mine, I was particularly excited to download the app and catch ‘em all. Now, augmented reality is never as awesome as you see on the adverts, but Pokémon has brought AR a long way as all you need is a mobile phone and an app; much like social media. Pokémon Go works by using Google Maps, if you move, your Pokémon character moves and roads and paths appear all around you. Along these paths Pokémon appear. When you click a Pokémon in your area you can view it via your mobile’s camera. The Pokémon then appears in front of you no matter where you are. Pokéstops and Gyms are also based on points of interest created on Google Maps. So if there’s a statue in your local area, the chances are it’s a Pokéstop. In its first week Pokémon Go racked up 15.3 million tweets worldwide! As yet there’s no social interactions within the game, but users are turning to social media to talk about their latest finds, and of course their complaints. A recent Facebook event has been set up in Preston that invites all players to gather at the train station to participate in a Pokéwalk. This event will allow all players to socialise and of course capture Pokémon as they go.
So how does this all tie in with social media?
I personally see this as a taster of what’s to come on social media. It’s more than just game development. Last year we saw the first 360 videos launched on Facebook, now anyone can upload a 360 photo using panoramic images taken on their mobile! Back in 2014 Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook announced he had purchased Oculus VR, the leading company in virtual reality technology, for an eye watering $2 billion. After this purchase we all awaited further developments. This technology allows you to visit beautiful cities across the world, swim with whales and visit theme parks all from the comfort of your home. Soon I believe this technology will allow you to speak face to face with friends and family wherever they are in the world. We have already seen Mark Zuckerberg himself demonstrate a more social aspect of the Oculus when he played a game of tennis with his friend who was in Australia. Even in its relatively early stages the idea of social media and augmented reality developing further is exciting! One day you might be able to watch one of my blogs live from your office through a headset. What do you think the future holds for social media and AR?