POKEMON GO PHENOMENON A WATERSHED MOMENT FOR AUGMENTED REALITY SAYS INVESTOR
Pokemon Go saw augmented reality “come of age”, a UK investor behind the gaming phenomenon has said. David Jones invested in developers Niantic through his brand technology firm You & Mr Jones, ahead of the mobile app’s record-breaking release.
Mr Jones said of his involvement with the Google spin-off: “We had and have a belief that augmented reality will be massive – the question was always when, but the potential of the technology was enormous.”
The Google connection played a big part in the former Havas Chief executive’s decision to get involved.
He said: “You add to that a genius called John Hanke, who had played a very key role in creating what became Google Earth, had run Google’s geo-division for seven years and had an understanding of location that is probably unparalleled in the world.
“(Add to that) the fact that it was built on Google’s mapping base and mapping platform, and the fact that you were going to add into that a brilliantly powerful franchise like Pokemon Go.”
But regardless of whether the signs were there that Niantic was set for a huge year, Mr Jones admits he was still taken aback by the reaction to the game, and added Niantic probably were too.
“I wouldn’t say that we had guessed it was going to be front page news in every paper in the world, but I think we were pretty confident it was going to be a big success,” he said.
“I think they (Niantic) would be very candid and say they were too.”
Mr Jones added: “Often in the tech world, people have incredibly ambitious goals and you invest on the back of them and they don’t necessarily get there.
“I think this was a case where they probably had pretty good targets but they obviously blew all of that away and created a global phenomenon. And I think we saw AR (augmented reality) coming of age.”
You & Mr Jones aims to combine the marketing nous of communication firms and the technological know-how of tech companies to “build brands better, faster and cheaper” – and has acquired Mofilm, fifty-five and theAmplify since launching in June 2015.