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Pokemon Go and Hotels – Whats Next?

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MyPlace Connect

Pokemon Go is the gaming craze taking over the world right now and has become the fastest selling app of all time in the process. Pokemon Go and hotels might not have a lot in common at first glance but there is more to this than you might think. While there may be immediate opportunities with the Pokemon Go franchise, the underlying technology is perhaps a more important area to understand.

Pokemon Go in 100 words

Pokemon Go is a game that involves capturing virtual creatures using your phone in real world locations called Pokestops. The object of the game is to catch as many Pokemon as possible.It works by overlaying a virtual world with hidden Pokemon over the real world, where the user has to physically navigate. Powered by GPS and Google Maps, once they find one they try and capture it to add to their collection. Pokemon can be found at Pokestops, which tend to be sites of interest in an area, such as public buildings, parks or monuments.

Underlying Technology

The technology that drives Pokemon Go is called Augmented Reality, which superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing an integrated virtual/real world view. This technology has been around for while, however it is the Pokemon brand that has really catapulted it into the mainstream. It remains to be seen if augmented reality can make a lasting impact in a broader sense, however the technology has got many potential niche applications, not least in the hospitality industry.

Be aware of the possibilities

The future for Augmented Reality in the hospitality industry has not been written yet, however there are many potential applications. Examples include brochures that come to life in 3D or menu’s that can be read in any language by the user. It would even be possible to direct guests to their rooms after check in with an overlay set of arrows. Anything is possible using Augmented Reality in hotels – the only limit is your imagination.

Pokemon Go and Hotels

There are limited opportunities to capitalise of the current Pokemon Go craze. If you happen to be within walking distance of a  popular Pokestop you can take advantage of the passing foot traffic. Another important opportunity comes from the fact that chasing Pokemons is very heavy on mobile data use so make sure you have a strong WiFi service that you advertise on the outside. One interesting possibility is that venues will be able to pay to become Pokestops and attract game players. For family friendly hotels this would be an advantageous selling point. No doubt, this will become clear in time.

Opportunities

Pokemon Go is just getting started, and how it will effect the hospitality industry remains to be seen. There will be opportunities for sure, however it is the wider augmented reality and virtual reality space that will be much more interesting in the longer term. At this stage the technology is there and all it needs is an useful application.

Peadar Gormley

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