Pokémon Go – why this location-based game took over the world?
In 1996, Nintendo has given to the world, one of the most popular series of computer games – Pokémon. In a very short period of time, the game became one of the most profitable out there. Shortly after, the company released a TV series, toys and gadgets. The world simply loved these little creatures and it managed to keep the momentum for a really long time. Today Pokemon has already lost the most of its charm. The new generation has it’s own characters… but the old fans of the game and series are still there. Guys from Niantic – software development company from San Francisco realized that potential and came up with the brilliant idea to renew the spirit of the series. I’m talking of course about Pokemon Go – the location-based virtual reality game that for the last 10 days tool over smartphones and cities all over the world.
Currently number one application on iOS and Android, the game is based on Ingress, real world exploration game. It allows you interact with the real world, using a smartphone as a guide in physical space. The goal is to explore new places and collect virtual Pokémon monsters in a outdoor environment. Although it doesn’t sound like anything special the idea took off. It clearly meets the expectations of Pokémon fans as many of them wanted to experience their own adventure with searching, catching, training, evolving, buying items, or challenging other players to fight. All of this, what we – the fan dreamed of years ago is in this game.
The app has a couple of cool features but here are my favourite ones:
Searching and socialize – Undoubtedly, the strongest advantage of this game. It brings people together because the game is built on the principle “the more people the better”. Alone, you have to spend a lot of time to find the desired Pokemon, but in group is higher chance to find them quicker.
The most effective and productive form, is to search for Pokemon on the bike.
Moreover, the game has so-called quests, where one of the tasks is to passage certain number of kilometers to get special rewards. Ironically, the game force players to simply go out and play which is beneficial to health. With the help comes radar. Once you’ve set up the game and start walking, you’ll notice a small grey box on the right of your screen. If you tap it, you will see a group of up to nine Pokémons in your local area. These creatures have little footprint markings underneath their avatars or shapes: zero footprints means you should see the Pokémon immediately, one footprint means you’re very close, two footprints means you’re on the right track and three footprints means they’re outside your immediate vicinity, but you’ll likely find them if you start walking in the right direction.
If the Pokemon is visible, the application will notify us, so that we do not have to focus our attention on the monitor all the time. What I found really interesting is that some creatures will be limited to their natural habitats. If you want a water or rock elemental Pokemon, your best bet will be to head to a river or the mountain. Really cool!
Gyms – In a game they appear as large colored towers in some places on the map. In a real world they’re usually located in places of interest or hubs of activity. They are the only places where Pokemon Battles take place.
To participate in these battles, you can pick from one of three teams and then assign a specific Pokémon to a gym – if it’s empty, you’ll capture it for your team and fortify its defences, otherwise you’ll be using the Pokémon you have caught, engage in battle with the defending Pokémon at the Gym to claim control. As you see, rules are very similar to Ingress. You need to fight for your team and take control over area in the map.
There are also places in Pokemon Go that allow you to collect items such as eggs and more Poke Balls to capture more Pokemons. They are called PokeStops – indicated on map with blue icons .
What is really cool is that these PokeStops will be located at select places in your neighbourhood, such as historical markers, monuments, and art installations. Actually data about these places were collected by ingress players. They’ve contributed location data to an online database, populating a worldwide map with various cool places. Furthermore you can register Gyms and Pokestops by yourself. That’s why Pokémon Go already knows the coolest places for you to check out!
Imagine what you can do to combining this features. You can plan your trip with friends, family to not only check worthwhile places but having fun too.
It is not hard to be surprised that, immediately after the release, the game has added billions of dollars to the market value of Nintendo. The number of users is still growing and soon it might exceed Twitter. Today the game is still limited to certain countries. I am curious what will happen when this game will be available world-wide world… With such a user growth it might be the next big thing.
How to make and save money on route planning?
Thirty years ago, if you painted a picture of today’s technology to the CEO of UPS or any other company that relies on timely deliveries, they would have probably laughed. The advances made in Geo-tracking, route planning, social media, video conferencing and many other tech simplifications have been incredible. Information is sent out and received instantaneously, allowing real time business adjustments and communication for all involved.
But how can you turn this into more dollars for your P&L?
Researching the best options for your company is essential. Every business has different needs and different revenue levels. The florist on Main Street is totally different from the House of Pizza around the corner. But there are some similarities and the same technological advances can help them both increase revenues and profit.
One of the biggest technological advances has been in software integration and business applications. Data analysis is critical for any business, large or small. With the development of CRM platforms, and a wide array of human resource integration, businesses can access everything from product mix reports to employee files to marketing tools in one spot. Many require an initial investment upfront, but as your company grows with using these programs, the return becomes obvious within months.
Marketing today is at it’s pinnacle. Commercials go viral, information (good or bad) is posted on social media almost instantly from the time of it’s creation, and many companies are using social media and video hosting to reach wider audiences, promoting their goods and services. Like every advancement, there are drawbacks too. For all the good your company may do, one wrong step and the information can be accessed immediately, going viral without any way to stop it.
Remember our example of the florist and pizza shop, with different needs? These two, along with thousands of others, have one big common denominator. One of the critical pillars of the business is delivering the goods in a timely manner. The costs associated with delivery service can be exorbitant, between training, insuring, fuel, repairs, and replacement. However, there are savings that can be realized.
One of the best technological advances has been in Global Positioning Software. Where every company relies on delivery of goods and thousands rely on delivery of their products, global positioning advancements have been integral in growth for every industry. Route planners are part of everyday business.
Using a route planner that allows for multiple stops, time gaps and cost efficient routes will not only increase your cash flow, but it will lead to happier, less stressed drivers, dispatchers and improve customer service.
Sound too good to be true?
It is today’s reality. Multiple stop route planning is becoming ever more popular for delivery businesses as much as it is for personal uses, such as road trips. Long distance truck drivers can make excellent use of this tool for accurate arrival and departure times of their loads. To be honest, there isn’t a business that wouldn’t benefit from a multistop route planner.
By creating routes that are efficient on gas and faster by utilizing algorithms to calculate the shortest routes between the stops, money is saved from the moment you leave the lot. Between spending less on fuel and less on repairs, the savings are immediately seen. What better way to impress your boss or CFO?
The simplicity of different programs can vary. There are some route planning tools that require special equipment to be installed in your fleet’s vehicles, to allow the drivers to import their routes and use them on the go. Others require purchasing the software and downloading it to a local computer. Some of the route planners are web-based and therefore do not require anything but internet connection, etc. Differences in cost are also visible, some tools require more support than others and therefore cost more. While you may experience savings in fuel and repairs, be cautious that you don’t spend it all on the other side for the program.
The twenty first century has already shown us tremendous progress in technology, making communication faster than it has ever been in our earthly history. What will the next 50 years hold for our world? It will be fascinating to see to what lengths technology will take us and how it will help us all do business more efficiently.