With over 15 million downloads and a whole lot of buzz online Pokemon Go has been taking the internet and the app store by storm! Pokemon has been around for years but what is it about this new app that is making grown adults explore the streets with the same enthusiasm they had as children on their gameboys?

Pokemon Go is an augmented reality game using a GPS tracking system which allows you to walk around your street and catch virtual Pokemon. Simply pull out your phone, open the app, switch on the camera and see the Pokemon through your screen.

However gamers who lack exercise and Nintendo’s bank account are not the only thing benefitting from the app’s success. Augmented reality has been around for a while now, we at Viral Seeding ran a campaign for a Tiger Beer app using the system over 6 years ago (you can view the case study here). The reason for Pokeman Go’s success is the the fan base and their devotion that has brought AR to life. That and smartphone technology now having the processing and battery power to deal with the requirements of such a game.

The Wall Street Journal mentions how augmented reality has been used before with the likes of Snapchat filters but Pokemon Go has given it a huge boost and increased its potential for future games.

However Scientific American questions if Pokemon Go is really Augmented Reality at all quoting Ken Perlin, a computer science professor saying that there is a “distinction between simply dropping digital characters onto a screen based on a player’s location and integrating those characters into their surroundings so that they seem more real than virtual”

The Independent goes as far as saying that Pokemon Go could be the most important game ever made due to the fact that it is getting children outside exploring rather than sitting in their rooms staring at a screen all day.

This relates to something called gamification (the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts). Convincing somebody to get up and go for a walk in the modern day can be pretty difficult but with Pokemon Go people are seeing such activities as a challenge. For example the person who walks the furthest or longest is more likely to get the better Pokemon therefore making the idea of walking exciting. Viral Seeding have worked on gamification projects in the past such as the Run an Empire app.

Businesses are also taking advantage of the games popularity as InstantPrint points out. Some companies are using PokeStops (A stopping point for gamers to get new items) as a way attracting people to their business. One restaurant even offered 10% off if a customer was part of the blue team in the game!

There is no doubt that Pokemon Go has made a huge impact and might have potentially opened up a new market for augmented reality games.