“Life is more fun if you play games” — Roald Dahl
Where can you find a Pikachu?
- hiding in a closet
- playing in the park
- travelling in a plane
- cruising in a car
- working in an office
Ok, you got me. I had no clue what a Pikachu was!I didn’t even know what Pokemon was till now. Safe to say, I don’t know much about Nintendo or the world of gaming! Born in India in the early 80s in an urban middle class setup, you wouldn’t have seen a video game till you were say around 10–12 years of age. Even then, you probably wouldn’t have owned one. I remember a bunch of us watched (not played) another kid play Pac-Man. That kid brought it from the US when he moved back to India. I haven’t played Doom, NFS, Grand Theft Auto, Football etc. But it’s something I don’t regret.
But has Pokemon Go changed social behavior in a week?
To explain this, we have to see a few charts to see how massive its impact has been on technology, society and the future. Some of these charts here. Firstly, it marks the first mainstream push towards Augmented Reality (AR) adoption.
Secondly, adoption rate is faster than some extremely popular apps such as Tinder. Apparently its even catching up on Snapchat.
But is the game a passing fad or a trendsetter?
We’ll agree that it already has hit cult status. But will it become like Angry birds and other popular hits or will it continue to scale beyond this. Right now, Candy crush makers are thinking how to make the game in 3D with a virtual projection or through VR glasses. Just don’t send the invites.
Surely, it paves way for the next generation of social interaction through AR.Virtual and augmented reality is making several inroads in the last few months. This also reflects in the increase in the number of times they get covered in my weeklies. You can read about them in Weekly #45 — VR in Retail. Weekly #41: Hyper Reality in 2025 and Weekly #24 — Future of Work etc.
The rapid blending of AR/VR into consumer markets are a clue
to how AR/VR might blend into enterprise markets. It is often said that the most popular consumer technologies blend well into the enterprise markets. For example: in hardware — you can see the consumerization of IT in laptops, tablets and smartphones etc and in terms of software — social media, conferencing and cloud storage etc. The same can happen with AR/VR.
At some point, we might create avatar versions of ourselves and entire virtual meetings and collaborate. A stretch for 5 years but can happen. I’ll cover the impact of AR/VR enabled gaming in future weeklies. Till then, try and catch a rat then we’ll talk about catching creatures real time.
Some other things I found interesting from last week.
- Bornean Orangutan is now critically endangered due to habitat destruction and illegal hunting.
- The security robot that knocked down a toddler has been fired. We’re already in the future.
- Paris bans all cars made before 1997. The city has made consistent and systemic cuts to its car population over the last year.
- IKEA to recall 1.66 million chests, dressers in China over concerns that they pose a danger to children if not fixed to the walls. They did a similar recall in the US recently.
- Kerala, a state in India, introduced a fat tax on popular multi-chain fast food restaurants for providing fatty foods. Wants to become the healthiest state in the country.
- Apparently, humans might have learned how to eat cashew nuts from the bearded Capuchin monkeys in Brazil. Capuchins were cracking cashew nuts with stones 7000 years ago. wow.
- Microsoft says HoloLens will be perfect for Pokemon Go! They also say HoloLens is great for enterprise collaboration. Microsoft, why did you make these glasses. Honestly, do you know?
- Artificial sweeteners mess with your brain. Chronic exposure to sweeteners will instigate brain’s reward centers to increase energy consumption pangs to recalibrate the loss of sweetness.
- Nissan will be the first Japanese manufacturer to hit the market with an autonomous driving system to control steering, brakes and throttle on the highway. Plans to bring its ProPILOT system to consumers in the fifth-generation Serena minivan in August.
- Jaguar Land Rover is also trying to build semi-autonomous cars. Testing car to car and car ot infrastructure communications for now. Quite a bit behind the autonomous market leaders.
- Pomegranates are now linked to anti-aging and better muscle improvement. Basically, a chemical by-product called Urolithin A (UA) improves muscle cells by triggering them to eliminate damaged mitochondria — the powerhouses of the cell. When the damaged ones are purged, the remaining healthy mitochondria divide and multiply. This means that they can produce more energy and work more efficiently. This UA chemical is produced in our bodies when we consume pomegranate juice, walnuts and strawberries.
..and all the other news around Pokemon Go
Vox explained what is Pokemon Go; Om Malik wrote how it will make you crave for AR. Pokestops in India are at temples. US Presidential candidates want to use it for campaign trails. A chrome extension that will block out all Pokemon news. T-Mobile is giving a year of free data to play Pokemon. A man found a dead body while searching for Pokemon. Some players fell off a cliff. One crashed a car. One fell into a pond. That’s quite enough for now. Basically, it’s a phenomenon that has gripped nations.
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