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It’s sweet summertime, but something other than the warm weather, cool pools, and bright sunshine is tempting people from their homes into the great outdoors. The recently launched and wildly popular smartphone app Pokémon Go has produced a surge in people walking around outside – albeit glued to their smartphones – but nevertheless out and about, walking around.

For those of you (and my guess would be that’s a very few) who don’t know, Pokémon Go is a free-to-play, location-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company as part of the franchise. The game uses your smartphone’s GPS and camera, creating an AR experience allowing you to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures called Pokémon in the real world. And you don’t even have to be a Pokémon fan to enjoy this experience; the technology behind it is just plain cool. Peering through your smartphone screen, it’s as if the Pokémon are really there – walking down the street, chilling in your living room, or putting in an appearance at the office.

With 21 million users and rising, Pokémon Go has surpassed popular apps like Twitter, and seen more engagement than Facebook (and let’s remember this game only made its debut on July 6, 2016). Putting it in plain English: this is huge! I think it would be easy to stop here and just get caught up in the popularity, fun, and gaming aspects of Pokémon Go. But, I think what is even cooler is that this game is making AR mainstream.

This widespread use of AR is changing the conversation. It wasn’t too long ago that I wrote a blog about AR impacting storytelling. The message then was to be prepared because AR is coming; now I’d have to say the message has changed to: AR is here for good. The widespread adoption of AR is underway and there are a few things your business can learn about messaging from its characteristics and Pokémon Go’s unbridled success:

  1. Engagement

AR technology is the cream of the crop when it comes to engagement. It makes things feel real, allowing users to be more fully engaged in the task or game. Your business can take a cue from AR when you’re crafting and trying to get your message out. Ask yourself this: Is it engaging? Does it feel real? Is it interactive? If the answer is “no”, then you might want to go back to the drawing board.

  1. Excitement

AR technology is undeniably compelling – you can’t help but share it. This enthusiasm creates a viral effect, impacting and reaching people far and wide. So, when developing and sharing your message with customers, you need to give them something exciting that they just can’t wait to share. Would you want to talk about this outside of work or with friends and family? If you can say yes to these questions, your news is more likely to spread.

  1. Edification

AR technology is helpful; a lot of existing and emerging applications involve using AR to teach skills. People constantly seek out those technologies, products, and services that can help them complete even the simplest of tasks faster and more effectively. So, think about how your business helps meet a need or want and capitalize on that message.

The next time you’re building your business messaging, take a page from AR’s playbook by making sure it’s engaging, exciting, and edifying. And, if you need help crafting that perfect message, I know a pretty awesome team that can help.

AR technology is pretty amazing and I’m excited to see what the future holds, but it’s time for me to go – there’s a Pokestop down the street that I need to get to. Gotta catch ‘em all!

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