Researchers Share the Science Behind Pokémon Go

October 24, 2016

Featured, Multimedia

The July 6 release of Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game that superimposes digital versions of long-beloved characters onto mobile-device views of neighborhoods, parks, and businesses, ushered in a new craze around the world. While use of the mobile app game has abated in recent months, its popularity proves the existence of a market for augmented reality games. Meanwhile, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL; Tenn.) want people to understand the science behind these games.


Video courtesy of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy.

“What many people don’t realize is the science and technology behind the game is the same science and technology behind a lot of our research here at ORNL,” said April Morton, research assistant in the ORNL Geographic Information Science and Technology Group.

The games incorporate location information that primarily relies on geographic information system (GIS) data. Scientists use this data every day for various types of research. For example, ORNL  staff use GIS data to create infrastructure and population models and to map energy and water demand, the ORNL video says. And according to a video from the Electric Power Research Institute (Palo Alto, Calif.), augmented reality also can offer utilities tools to make jobs easier.

Read more about current and potential uses for augmented reality technology in the November 2016 WE&T article, “Catching illicit discharges while catching Pokémon.”

— Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this!
, , , , ,

Comments are closed.