Augmented reality has hit the mainstream after Pokemon Go was released in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and it is already testing real world readiness for the technology.
The basic idea of Pokemon Go is to walk around collecting Pokemon pocket monsters from your neighbourhood, or wherever you happen to be.
It has experienced huge viral success within its first week, surpassing 15 million downloads by July 13 – keeping in mind it was only available in three countries.
People are spending a solid amount of time in the app. An analysis by SensorTower showed users spent more time playing Pokemon Go than they did Facebooking or using other social media.
However, when compared with other mobile games, Pokemon Go isn’t as big a time-sink as Candy Crush Saga, for example.
It is, however, testing just how ready the world is for augmented reality.
A gathering of gamers in a park in the western Sydney suburb of Rhodes annoyed local residents of adjacent high-rise apartments enough to call the police and allegedly use water balloons to try to move the players on.
Problems have continued at the park with large volumes of litter allegedly discarded by players, according to posts to the Pokemon Go Sydney Facebook group.
“This is a fun and exciting game, we all know that,” one post said.
“But if you keep this up, the local's [sic] tolerance to group gathering like these will be next to nothing and have everything shut down.
“This is a message not only for Rhodes but pretty much everywhere in Sydney and to the extent of Australia.”
The popularity of the game has also resulted in numerous warnings from law enforcement agencies. While many of these have been around pedestrian and driver safety, some have involved the places where people are looking for monsters.
“Attention budding Pokemon trainers: you do not need to step inside a Courthouse to find Pokemon,” the Department of Justice NSW said.
In the US, three people were charged with robbery offences after allegedly hanging around real-world locations frequented by gamers in order to hold them up.
The game is also causing some problems for unwitting real-life participants. The Washington Post reported that the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC had found itself to be an unwanted location of “Pokestops” in the game where players could collect things that could help them catch Pokemon.
"We are trying to find out if we can get the museum excluded from the game,” the museum’s communications director Andrew Hollinger said.
The 9/11 Memorial Pool has also emerged as a Pokestop in the game.
Vox reported that the use of the app in sensitive locations was a problem both for its developers and for players.
“Even if the Holocaust Museum gets [game developer] Niantic to remove its PokeStop status, that won’t purge Pokemon from appearing there,” it said.
“Pokemon appear when the app is active. Eliminating Pokemon from the museum would require users to stop opening the app at the museum.
“Of course, if you’re playing Pokemon Go at the Holocaust Museum or at the 9/11 memorial, well, that is a whole different problem.”
However, not everyone wants out.
For example, there is a growing body of knowledge on how businesses can use the game to bring foot traffic closer, and potentially sell more product.