I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that Pokémon GO has taken the world by storm. Almost everyone I know has been playing it, and work has temporarily halted at the office while everyone searches high and low for their favorite first generation pocket monster. I visited Reno, Nevada this past weekend, and walking down the streets in the evening, smartphones were out in packs as groups of friends wandered around the city in an effort to be the very best, like no one ever was. And while the game has primarily focused itself on AR, or augmented reality technology, evidence has surfaced suggesting that the title may be adding some sort of Google Cardboard VR integration in the near future.
Originally spotted by the Pokesteal Twitter page, the updated licensing page featured in version 1.0.1 of the Pokémon GO app mentions Google Cardboard, leading us to believe that Niantic, publisher of the overnight success story, may be integrating Cardboard technology into the title very soon. While wearing an enclosed VR headset while wandering the streets sounds a bit dangerous, there are certainly use cases in which the tech could be used in a very cool way.
Trainer battles could be made much more interactive once they launch, immersing the user in some sort of battle arena which they fight other users. If the application becomes compatible with Google’s new Daydream experience, the touch controllers associated with the software could allow for full on Pokémon battle action. Then again, it could be something as simple as a VR pokedex where you can get a closer look at the pocket monsters you’ve already caught. Really, it still isn’t completely clear what the company is planning on using the headset for, but it’s exciting that they are potentially planning on doing something with Google’s tech.
Many people have a Cardboard headset already, and if you don’t, they are very easy to obtain. Traveling around the city with just your phone and some cardboard sounds like a great time for those looking to get completely immersed in the Pokémon experience, and Google’s headset is light enough that users won’t have to worry about lugging around a heavy HMD like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Who knows, we might even see some special Pokémon GO headsets developed to go along with the experience.
Would you be interested in using Google Cardboard with the title? I can think of a plethora of use cases that could make the Pokémon GO experience even better. We really are living in the future.