An Ode to Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go has been the talk of the town this summer, sending people out to streets, parks, beaches, you name it! All to collect characters and become an ultimate “Pokémon Master.”

Being the “tech geeks” that we are, Pokémon Go has stolen our hearts because of its ability to embrace augmented reality — overlaying digital imagery on a person’s view of the real world—and geo-location data to fuse digital technology with the physical world. We also love how it has gotten people outside, active, and enabled them to connect with others far and wide.

While Pokémon Go’s followership has dwindled significantly since it launched in early July, we assert that the game has opened the door to a new chapter of technology, both for individuals and for organizations.

In particular, the tech industry has discussed location-based games for nearly a decade. But, it has been quite exciting for the concept to go mainstream so suddenly. There are now so many ways that local cities, towns, destinations, shops, and organizations can get involved that people understand the concept in ways they didn’t before.

For example, businesses can sponsor “PokéStops” — places where players collect items to capture Pokémon — to indirectly market themselves and bring foot traffic into their physical locations. Thus, local businesses can begin to blend the physical and digital and join a larger social movement to gain customers and even employee engagement in a way they could not before.

When most people think of technology on the enterprise level, they think boring old IT departments. But, technology is not just databases and computing equipment. While some organizations have expressed concern about Pokémon Go’s impact on workplace productivity, we challenge enterprises large and small to think about the competitive advantage they can gain by embracing the game and the overarching concepts behind its success. We’ve found that those who embrace movements such as these, as opposed to resisting them, will set themselves apart from the competition for years to come.