Pokémon Go is an unbelievable phenomenon. In just a week, it's competing with Instagram and Snapchat, which is why everywhere you go, you’re bumping into even more people staring lovingly at their phones. But if you’re tired of the craze already, I have some very bad news. It’s only going to get worse.
Niantic Labs, the technology company behind Pokémon Go’s augmented reality technology, has already mused that the app could come to Microsoft’s Hololens headset, which would move the virtual monster experience from your phone right into your eyes. When this happens, imaginary Pokémon will only get more magnificent—and more obtrusive.
And as it happens, two developers have already been toying with bringing Pokémon to Hololens for months now.
As highlighted by Prosthetic Knowledge, a developer who goes by KennyWDev has successfully ported full-size Pokémon models into the real world as giant polygonal statues, while another developer, Generalkidd, has actually prototyped a similar experience where the Pokémon have real head-to-head battles (and the attacks are prompted by vocal commands, just like in the show!).
Neither of these demos is nearly ready for release, and now that Nintendo is involved in the augmented reality space, it’s unlikely that we’ll see these particular experiments using Nintendo’s IP ever become full-fledged games that any of us can download. However, they are both superb illustrations of where augmented reality gaming is going—and soon, because they’re operating on real Hololens hardware.
So if you think it’s annoying elbowing past two Pokémon Go players as they flick their fingers at tiny monsters on the sidewalk today, just wait until they’re dueling it out like a pair of cowboys in a Sergio Leone movie, both miming commands to imaginary monsters who are the size of small construction equipment.
In other words, you might as well give in and just download Pokémon Go already. Now that all this pixelated addiction has gone mainstream, the world will never be the same.