Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game that takes place in the real world and requires walking, and a new study posits that this means that making exercise more fun and accessible for the masses may result in better overall public health. It's a given that sedentary Pokemon fans who want to catch Pokemon in the real world will get up and walk to do it. The rub is that some of these Pokefans may not have ever hit the streets if not for Pokemon GO, or would have at least walked far less. The study in question shows a 12.2% jump in how many days a 10,000 step goal was met, with some participants who were less active before playing the game consistently adding in about 3,000 steps to their normal day.
The study was conducted in June of 2016, with 167 iPhone users as participants. Over the course of the study, from June 15 to June 31, participants were, on average, about twice as likely to hit a 10,000 step goal for a given day. While some of the less active participants saw a drastic improvement, participants who were somewhat active before playing, netting around 5,600 steps, usually saw somewhere around 2,000 more steps going into their daily regimen. The extra activity found in participants points to an overall average decrease of about 8% in the risk of heart attack or stroke, especially for participants who were already at high risk.
The effects of the game were widespread due to its incredible popularity. The motivation to jump on the AR bandwagon is not limited to public health, of course; Pokemon GO, at what has been its peak profit thus far, managed to rake in thousands every minute around the world. Google's Tango AR ecosystem also hit the market recently, with two phones capable of taking advantage of its advanced features thus far. That means that it's easier than ever to make compelling, environment-aware AR content. While a huge part of Pokemon GO's success is owed to a near-universal love of the brand, that does not mean that other AR games couldn't pop up and make a killing, especially with Pokemon GO's massive popularity beginning to wane.