Virtual reality devices are the Google Glass of the 21st century (yes, I know both are from the 21st century, but work with me here). Apple tends to focus on products that a mass number of people (mass just isn’t what it used to be, but lets go with 100-million to 1-billion customers) love to use. Just like Pokemon Go but not like virtual reality.
What. Price. Reality?
If the headlines mean anything then the next great thing will be virtual reality goggles that we strap onto our heads so we can live in a universe that isn’t real, although you’ll still be mocked for wearing a device that arguably is much worse than Google Glass.
As it turns out, a sort of virtual reality is here already, and, thanks to Apple, it’s taking world populations by storm. It’s an augmented reality (which blends reality as seen through a camera with virtually real creatures, also seen through the camera) game called Pokémon Go.
The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices.
Sounds cool, right? Someone mixed reality with virtual reality and got tens of millions of iPhone and Android smartphone users involved and a new sensation was born.
Pokémon Go was released to mixed reviews. Reviewers praised the overall experience of the game and the incentive to adventure the real world, while noting the obvious technical issues that were apparent at launch…
By nature, everything gets mixed reviews. Jesus was met with mixed reviews.
The game quickly became one of the most used smart device apps after launching, surpassing the previous record held by Candy Crush Saga in the United States, and was a boon to the stock value of Nintendo. The game was credited with popularizing augmented reality, and was praised by some medical professionals for potentially improving the mental and physical health of players, but also attracted some controversy due to reports of causing accidents and being a public nuisance at some locations.
Yeah, what’s a few deaths due to Pokémon Go matter in the overall scheme of planet earth?
Pokémon Go is here now and works on a few billion smartphones. Virtual reality, like Google Glass, might be cool and advanced technology but isn’t it obvious that people would rather chase around little imaginary creatures overlaid on their smartphone’s camera than leave reality altogether and wear stupid looking and overly expensive game gear on their foreheads?
What does this have to do with Apple?
Everything and nothing. Without Apple, we would not have beautiful and powerful mini-supercomputers in our pockets. Remember what Android smartphones looked like before the iPhone? It was like walking your dog but having to carry all of pooch’s excrement back home in your hand. Google Glass just put the excrement on your face. Virtual reality moved it North and made it bigger. Pokémon Go is a big hit on iPhone and Android. And it highlights that Apple isn’t afraid to not waste money on virtual reality headsets because apparently no one else is, either.
For now, the new reality is augmented, and Pokémon Go is but one example of many such games and apps to come because that’s what technologists do. They copy Apple. Or, they copy the latest trend. Either way, Apple is involved in both. Virtual reality isn’t involved in much of anything until pron catches up.