‘Pokémon Go’ news: See the new demo from Microsoft’s conference
In 2016, the world flipped out as the mobile augmented reality game Pokémon Go hit the App Store and Google Play for free download. In collaboration with software development company Niantic, Nintendo wooed players by presenting Pokémon to catch in their real-life location via GPS technology.
While Pokémon Go had some mixed reviews at first, especially with limited content and controversy over increased vehicle accidents, the mobile game has come a long way, introducing new features, reworking problems, and offering refreshing news & updates all the time.
Today, the game is stronger than ever with AR Insider reporting 147 million monthly active Pokémon Go users worldwide in May 2018. With consistent developments and widespread usership between ages & genders, the game’s popularity won’t likely decline.
What would happen if the most popular augmented reality mobile game got augmented again? We’re here with the latest news on Pokémon Go’s next evolution using the latest HoloLens technology.
Mixed reality demo
Microsoft caused a surge in Pokémon Go news, announcing a launch of the Microsoft Mesh mixed reality platform today, which showcased a quick demonstration of a revamped Pokémon Go running through the HoloLens 2 headset. Teaming up with publisher Niantic, Microsoft created a mixed reality version of Pokémon Go which could be indicative of the game’s promising future.
In the demo, the presenter wears the HoloLens device to show Pokémon roaming around in the wild and demonstrates how you can feed the Pokémon berries. The demo also reveals a menu which allows users to tap for access to different parts of Pokémon Go like the Pokémon list and consumable items like Pokéballs or berries.
“While this demo is not intended for consumer use, it offers an early glimpse into the future evolutions in both software and hardware,” explained John Hanke, CEO & founder of Niantic. “We’ve only scratched the surface. We know the years ahead to be filled with important achievements which will serve as waypoints in AR’s journey to become a life-changing computing platform.”
While the clip only demonstrates “proof of concept” and isn’t ready to share with consumers at the moment, the idea of having your very own Pokémon buddy visibly following you around as you play is absurdly awesome. As emphasized in the demo: “Augmented reality can make the real world a little more magical.”
John Hanke stepped up during Microsoft Ignite’s virtual conference today to discuss Microsoft’s Mesh launch. The new mixed reality platform which is flaunting the futuristic version of Pokémon Go is made for developers and is powered by Azure.
According to The Verge, Microsoft Mesh is “a collaborative platform that allows anyone to have shared virtual experiences on a variety of devices, and Microsoft is hoping it will encourage developers to create more mixed reality apps.”
The free-to-use Windows application also allows 3D capture technology to meet up in a united virtual space from different physical locations. “You can actually feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together,” shared Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman.
What is the HoloLens?
Microsoft HoloLens are a pair of mixed reality smartglasses which allowed for the exciting Pokemon Go presentation seen above. However, they’re not your average type of VR headset. Wired explained that they are “a full-fledged computer for the face, with 2K displays in each eye and built-in spatial audio and 6DoF positional tracking.”
Thus, the high-tech headset is large & expensive – not all that user-friendly. In fact, it’s not even intended to be marketed to the average consumer anyways.
“[HoloLens] is not a device that you’re going to wear on the streets. We’re using the HoloLens 2 as an experimental platform to start working with this stuff before future AR glasses that are consumer-friendly are ready,” Hanke clarified in an interview with Wired.
With that knowledge we can assume that the world isn’t going to be sporting those HoloLens AR glasses while catching a Pikachu any time soon. The HoloLens will serve as more of a means to an end in order to guide technology to create a more usable product.
Are you excited for more news of a mixed reality Pokémon Go? Let us know below!