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Gotta Catch 'Em All - How Pokémon Go’s new reality can help us bridge learning and tech

 

If you haven’t played Pokémon Go, chances are you’ve seen people wandering around using the app. Some poor guy in Vancouver even had to put up signs to stop people trespassing on his property. Huge demand at launch toppled servers, and when developer Niantic did get their act together, millions downloaded it. Nintendo stock soared as investors woke up to the potential of mobile. It’s nothing short of a global phenomenon.

So how does it work?

 

 

First you create an avatar which is then displayed on a map showing your current location - as you move through your real world surroundings looking for Pokémon (pocket monsters), your avatar moves within the game map.


 
When you encounter a wild Pokémon it’s viewed in augmented reality (AR) mode.
 
The phone’s camera and gyroscope shows the monster as if it were in the real world - in your living room, at the shopping mall or wherever you happen to be.


 
And it’s this element of the game that’s really interesting, with big implications for us as L&D professionals.
 
As an idea augmented reality has been doing the rounds for a few years, but smartphones are now making concept a reality.
 
That’s because apps can overlay your immediate environment with added visuals or useful information.
 
And not just for gaming or advertising:
 
  • Cyclopedia adds Wikipedia information to your reality - a welcome addition to any field trip or city break
  • Pocket Universe lets you discover stars and planets - just fire up the app, point your phone at the night sky and outdo Galileo
  • Hold your phone over a foreign street sign or menu with Google Translate enabled and your holiday becomes a little less stressful.
     

So looking at workplace learning:
 
The technology thats sits
Pokémon atop our reality has exciting implications for training - as a fun and engaging way of getting people to understand the bridge between learning and technology. See those posters and logos on the wall. With Skill Pill’s AR app you can bring them to life as your phone turns them into statements about your vision and corporate values.
 
Or how about mapping locations within your building to learning?
 
Use the technology to trigger delivery of a 2 minute top-up of learning on how to chair an effective meeting via a smartphone when the host enters a meeting room. Or prompt elevator pitch training delivered right there in the lift on a mobile. You never know who might get in on the next floor.
 
Augmented reality is the ideal way to create a sense of occasion around particular learning events.

Go ahead, try it on Android or iPhone. Once you've downloaded the app, just open it and point your phone at these images. Cool huh?
 
Here at Skill Pill we’re already working with a host of businesses who use our AR app and digital content to support their learning programmes - EDF Energy, Tesco, Dell, Amex and Coca Cola to name just a few.
 
There’s nothing complicated or futuristic about utilising this technology and channel to support learning. Nothing at all.
 
If you’d like to grab 20 minutes with us to discuss any ideas you might have for adding a digital element to support learning, what’s been stopping you getting started, and how you can best deploy apps, tools and content to realise organisational performance gains, just email info@skillpill.com or call +44 (0)870 240 6656 to schedule a conversation.