Staring at your phone is not the point, says app’s creator

Normally on the blog, we provide you with savings tips and shopping guides.

But given the recent craze surrounding Pokémon Go, we’re going a bit off-topic today.

John Hanke, creator of Pokémon Go, answered questions about the viral augmented reality smartphone app at GamesBeat 2016 this Tuesday in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

We heard what he had to say and have highlighted his thoughts on the true purpose of Pokémon Go and apps like it.

Hint: It’s not staring at your smartphone.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Are Meant to Engage Users

Although Hanke answered many questions about the app in general, his overall vision for the future of both augmented reality and virtual reality is that they will help users connect to their environment, not disconnect them from it.

“I’m a science fiction fan, so I want the contact lenses that transform everything into whatever kind of themed world I want it to be,” he said. “It’s probably going to get created in our lifetime, and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

He went on to say that the motivation behind Pokémon Go was not to inspire people to stare at their phones and ignore what’s going on around them, but instead to engage with their surroundings more deeply. Pokémon Go and its predecessor, Ingress, were created to help people be more active in their communities, learn about its history and get more exercise while being social.

Hanke believes that the forthcoming Pokémon Go Plus, a wristband that alerts players about nearby Pokémon, will help make that happen.

It’s Not Escapism, It’s a Great Social Option

When asked about the value of apps like Pokémon Go he said, “I think of it as a fun, very inexpensive alternative to going to a movie or just going out to a restaurant or a bar. It’s more active than either of those things and provides a lot of, kind of open space for conversation and just kind of hanging out. I think it’s a great social option.”

Since its inception, the Pokémon Go app has been downloaded more than 75 million times and has more active users than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Given this meteoric rise, Hanke’s prediction that virtual reality will be available in our lifetime doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

For a complete look at all the information about the app and the strange stories that go with it, check out this handy infographic that we created here:

Facts and figures of the viral mobile app

To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="" title="Pokémon Go: the True Purpose" /></p><p><a href="">Pokémon Go: the True Purpose</a></p>