This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

July 20, 2016

Pokémon a GO Go

Yes, there has been a frenzy caused by the new game called Pokémon GO. People in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and United Kingdom are going a little crazy for the new location-based, augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company. This free-to-play game was released worldwide for iOS and Android devices and is taking the installed world by storm.

How it works
Using the GPS and the camera of compatible devices, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon (plural) who appear throughout the real world. Although the game is free-to-play, it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items and higher levels. Plus, an optional companion Bluetooth wearable device, the Pokémon Go Plus, is planned for future release; it will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.

Mixed critical reception
Praised by some medical professionals for potentially improving players' mental and physical health, the game attracted controversy due to reports of causing accidents and being a public nuisance to some locations. The most downloaded smartphone apps upon its release, the game was a boon to the stock value of Nintendo, which owns a part of The Pokémon Company. Within a week of release, it became the most active mobile game ever in the United States with more than 21 million players, and the number continues to grow. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world.

Augmented-Reality (AR) goes commercial
Capitalizing on the popularity of the game, Australia-based hotels group Mantra is the first group of hotels to be "Pokémon Go-friendly". Characterized as two "Pokéstop bys", Mantra's properties in Sydney and Melbourne sends people to one of its hotel bars with the offering of a free bowl of chips with any drink purchase. Plus, they offer free Pokémon Lures to increase gamers' chances of catching one of the monsters. With 20 percent of Andriod users in Australia (according to Similar Web), creating such an attraction was a "no brainer". Many websites claim the game already has more active users than Twitter.

What's next?
Expect more travel, hospitality, and other retailers to jump on this bandwagon very quickly. AR is definitely here to stay for a while.

Special thanks to Linda Fox, writing for Tnooz for the Australian hotel coverage.

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