Unless you’ve been hiding inside without access to news media this past weekend, or you are a Windows Phone/Mobile user (sorry, I know that’s painful), you are aware that late last week Nintendo released Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is a mixed VR game that puts Pokemon characters squarely into real life and turns you into an actual Pokemon hunter.
And, yes…before you ask, I’ve been playing it myself. I’m not as hardcore as others I know who have been traveling to various neighboring cities on the hunt for rare Pokemon, but I’ve caught a few myself in the local area. There are already groups of people who are planning to fit official Pokemon hunting outings into their weekend schedules.
Interesting enough…my church is a Pokemon gym and we were able to find a Jiggly Puff bouncing around outside. Also, of interest, the Catholic church just down the street from ours is a Pokemon Stop. I imagine it won’t be long before we see some clever church signs bearing Pokemon invites: “Sit through a sermon, get a free Charizard!” As silly as this sounds, I've also read reports how Pokemon Go is already affecting real estate with listings touting Pokemon Stops and Gyms as worthy amenities.
I’ve seen reports today of those hunting Pokemon over the weekend who are complaining of sore legs and are extra tired. Who knows? In one fell swoop, Nintendo may have figured out how to solve the world’s obesity crisis.
So, here’s a suggestion for those wanting a reason to get outside more, who are hankering to explore the local area, or just want to sneak in some extra exercise without the effort. If you’re a Microsoft Band owner who is becoming slightly addicted to Pokemon Go, turn on that semi-new Explore tile (the one that looks like a hiker) and record your entire hunting session. That should make for some interesting details, considering the Explore tile also allows you to mark special points of interest. Find a Pokemon, mark the spot.
It would also be an interesting to see which device’s battery lasts longer – Microsoft Band in Explore mode or an iPhone with Pokemon Go burning through battery juice. Which leads to another unintended effect of Pokemon Go -- the app is driving sales of portable smartphone chargers like the Anker PowerCore.
Pokemon Go is available from iTunes or the Google Play store. Sorry, Windows Phone/Mobile users, this is not for you. I’ve heard rumors that it might come to Windows 10 Mobile eventually, but for now there’s actually more interest in a HoloLens version.
Not a Microsoft Band owner? You should be. Amazon has them available for around $150: Microsoft Band 2