Image: Ashley McAllister/RFG

If you have not yet seen hordes of teenagers flock to your nearest landmark to catch imaginary monsters then you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months. What you might find even more surprising is that it’s not only teenagers who flock, the Poké-craze has expanded to different audiences too, *raises hand* myself included. Forbes report shows that the average Pokémon Go player is a is a 25-year-old, college educated white woman making $90,000 a year.

Image: Nick DeSantis/Forbes

I downloaded the app to see what the fuss was about. I wasn’t a fan of the original games/TV show/collectable cards, however, driven by the desire to ‘catch ‘em all’, I quickly became engrossed in the platform. The coincidence that my name is Ash hasn’t been overlooked by my mates. (Ash being the name of the main human character in the original series)

Pokémon Go broke all expectations when it came to Mobile Games, Visually statistics show 50 million downloads in two-weeks and 9 out of 10 people knowing about the game, it’s reach has been unprecedented. But what makes this game stand out and perform so well against other platforms? For me it is due to a mix of things:

  • The collectable nature of odd/amusing characters
  • Geo-locating the game in your environment
  • Adding of a digital layer over the real world and having the two work together in real time (Augmented Reality)
Pokemon Go Augmented Reality Basset Hound Caterpie

Image: Ashley McAllister/RFG

Image: Ashley McAllister/RFG

Image: Andy Averill/RFG

Even though this technology is not new, we are at the cusp of what AR and VR (Virtual Reality) can do. Pokémon Go is a great example that shows people are willing to engage with technology on a more immersive level especially as products like Samsung VR Headset make AR a household enterprise. As Market Researchers we should be looking at ways to utilize this experience to make research more fascinating for our online respondents. Some companies, like Mfour, already use Geo-Location for their Surveys on the go with their mobile platform, but where else can AR take us?

How about shopper research compiled at home using data collected from a Samsung VR Headset? The respondent journeys through a virtual replica of your store whilst software records their experience, like dwell time and key visionary touch-points. This data could then be used to develop marketing messages to engage with customers.

Or using Xbox Kinect Technology to turn simple surveys into fun games. Star-Jump once to select A.

You might think that the above may be asking too much for respondents, but if Pokémon Go teaches us anything it is that people of all demographics enjoy technology, putting it to use in new and exciting ways and don’t mind going the extra mile especially if the reward is worth it.

That’s it for now, a rare Bulbasaur has appeared and I need to go capture it before some millennial beats me to it.

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