Bangalore, July 15 2016: Pokemon, the Japanese game that was first launched by its Japanese creators in the 1990s, is seeing a sensational rebirth as an Android and iOS download, Pokemon GO, ever since it was launched in the US, Australia and New Zealand earlier this week.
The game may finally see Augmented Reality reach a mass user base. AR, according to Wikipedia is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
Says Durgesh Kaushik who has led online marketing at Facebook in Europe and APAC and is a thought leader in digitla marketing and social media sees the Pokemon GO frenzy as an opportunity for Indian businesses: "Augment reality has always had the promise of becoming a big marketing channel for local businesses. But with Pokemon GO, all the confusion about AR's potential has been cleared The game is a huge opportunity for local business to grow their business. Imagine becoming a top PokeStop for people playing Pokeman! It's an unprecedented opportunity to draw people to your shop or store. So, get those Pokemon characters into your store as soon as possible."
The app is not officially launched or downloadable in India -- yet. This has not deterred many Indians from accessing the game from some international mirror sites like APK Mirror, APK Queen or Softonic, which circumvent the geographical restrictions. However since this not an official Android or iOS app in India, you have to do some tweaking on your phone... like changing the security setting to allow downloads from ‘unknown sources’. If you like to live dangerously this is the way to go, but please be warned that such downloads always open you to the possibility of malware.
There may be other dangers: Net security specialist Trend Micro points at one threat that may accompany Pokemon GO: For some phone users signing into the game with the most convenient option -- using your Google account -- allows the gaming company to read your emails. That's because the Pokemon GO app gets "full access" to your Google account. It's something most apps don't dare demand -- but Pokemon does.
In the US, already in its first few days, Pokémon Go’s real-world gameplay has been linked to armed robberies as criminals have used the game to locate and lure intended targets. There are reports of trespassing as enthusiastic players try to “find” and “capture” creatures on others’ property. And of course, there’s the risk of injury or death from not paying attention to your surroundings as you play the game: players following creatures on their phones have blundered into traffic on roads.
There are divergent views on this.
F-Secure’s Security Advisor Sean Sullivan highlighted that the stories are mostly overblown. “The robbery stuff is hyped nonsense, allegedly happens once, and the press can’t resist telling the story,” said Sean.
How about Niantic, the app’s maker collecting “your email address, IP address, the web page you were using before logging into Pokémon Go, your username, and your location.” This may sounds bad, but its “typical of most apps,” Sean says. The bottom line is that still if you may, as always, you should check your privacy settings.
What about the news that the app gives Nitantic full access to your entire Google account, which you have to use to create an account for the game!?
Turns out that the maker was never able to read your Gmail and the permissiveness has more to do with Google’s settings than Nitantic’s. However, to play, you may still want to create a separate Google account that isn’t connected to your Gmail.