Pokémon Go: The AR Revolution and how it can work with the Education Sector

Pokémon Go: The AR Revolution and how it can work with the Education Sector

You’d have had to have been stuck down a cave to have missed the Pokémon Go craze. Brought to you by the Google (well, Alphabet) and Nintendo funded startup, Niantic, Pokémon Go has taken immersive gaming into a new level, bringing together Google’s map technology muscle with a nostalgic audience wanting a more immersive experience.

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Augmented Reality applications aren’t a new development by any means, but what Niantic have done is taken one of the world’s most popular franchises, combined it with the open world, and unleashed it to a global audience. Driven by its user’s nostalgia, the app has shot to the top of best-selling lists in just over a week, added billions onto Nintendo’s value, encouraged users to explore the world around them, and taken over their lives. Look on your newsfeed, or look in your city centre park at lunch time – chances are you’ll see a fair few people trying to locate the ever-elusive Pikachu. Already having overtaken the amount of active daily Twitter users, the number of users that Tinder has, and the amount of time spent in the Facebook app, Pokémon Go has taken no prisoners in becoming the most downloaded app ever… all in just over a week.

How can the Education sector capitalise on this opportunity?

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Marketers across all sectors are attempting to jump on the bandwagon and capture the momentum of this global phenomenon. As always, it’s about ensuring that your material and interactions are relevant and engaging. By now, you’ve probably seen a few universities who have started to implement pictures of their campus with Pokémon.

But we can do more. What we have to consider is that not all of your prospective students will be interested in Pokémon, but the sheer interest in this type of Augmented Reality can be harnessed to strengthen the relationship between your institution and your potential student. Let’s start at one of the earliest physical interactions they’ll have with you – an Open Day. Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking about the applications of such technologies:

  • Do you have an itinerary for your potential Open Day?
    Perhaps your campus is peppered with historical buildings or modern developments. Geospatial AR, where items are displayed in view based on their physical location, adds a bit more of an interactional element. It could be as simple as building an app that displays pertinent facts when they arrive at points of interest. Colourful navigation graphics could appear on the floor to help them find what places they’re looking for next, or where they need to be.
  • Do you have an Open Day for an Art & Design course?
    Great. Perhaps they could go to a faculty building, and have relevant work that notable alumni have produced be displayed on their screen.
  • Is your University one of the top for research in a specific field?
    Tell the user this in a visual way – conveying your success and accolades on their screen as they tour your facilities.
  • What are the accommodation opportunities? Is there financial support available?
    Consider the key points that students need to know before they apply. Amongst other things, as they explore your campus, interactive posters could relay key information in an engaging but concise way on their screen.
  •  Are your current students engaging with you on social media?
    You could also make the app community-driven with a live feed of user-generated content (such as comments and photos). Showcasing the student’s perspective of the campus offers a further level of trust – actual content from peers that were once in their shoes will resonate well.
  •  Is your campus on the larger side?
    A points based system could entice prospective students to discover the scope of your facilities. They might be attending your Open Day with a friend, so give them the opportunity to explore together. At the end of their journey, reward them for having fully immersed themselves into your campus. Maybe after ‘checking in’ to all of your landmarks, they’ve gained the maximum amount of points. Perhaps reward them with some university-branded apparel. Chances are their phone battery will have been drained, so you can top them back up with a branded portable charger.

As with all new developments in digital, the possibilities are endless, and it’s up to you to continue to innovate and excite. It’ll be interesting and will be newsworthy to see who will be the first to create and disrupt with an augmented game.

Get in touch with us today to help define and develop your strategy – or to catch some Pokémon together.

Refer below to our handy jargon buster to well… Bust some jargon.

  • Freemium/micro-transactions: Free apps that usually encourage small in-app purchases (micro-transactions) to allow a user to progress through the game faster or more advantageously.
  • 360° videos: A video that surrounds the user, allowing them to look around them in all directions, just as they can in real life. Usually this is done through moving a smartphone or using the screen to pan around. Check out this video that we created for the Courtauld Institute of Art.
  • Augmented Reality: Technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world through, in this instance, their phone camera.
  • Virtual Reality: A realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body (using VR goggles such as Oculus).
  • User generated content: any form of content such as posts, chats, tweets, digital images, video, etc that was created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites.
  • Checking in: The act of sharing your location at a specific place using your phone’s GPS.