It’s no secret that the Trajectory team are always watching how technology is increasingly becoming a feature in our day-to-day lives. We’ve seen inventions span from the wholly ridiculous to the sophisticated and sometimes even sinister – all in the name of innovation. However, the latest phenomenon that’s got us talking is of course, the Pokémon Go app that continues to dominate everyone’s attention.

Nintendo’s reinvention of Pokémon, which was originally created as an RPG for Game Boy 20 years ago, has ridden the wave of GPS and augmented reality (AR) to bring gamers out of their sitting rooms and onto the streets to embark on this new world of discovery, where something could quite literally be waiting round every corner.

Images of Pokémon ‘Goers’ traipsing the streets have gone viral on social media as the app is played across Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Europe has consistently trended on Twitter all week, clocking up 2.35M tweets.

The unprecedented, overnight success has left those in countries where it has not officially launched demanding it be made available as soon as possible, which has caused some heated online exchanges with one man in Australia losing his job as a consequence. What on earth is going on?

In order to get to grips with the scale of this sudden success Pokémon are enjoying, data from SimilarWeb has found that the new gaming app has been installed twice as many times on Android phones as Tinder and that daily usage is overtaking tech giants Instagram and Snapchat as well as gradually creeping up on Twitter too.

With Pokémon Go receiving such a sizzling reception, it ‘goes’ without saying that such popularity is having a knock on effect beyond the gaming realms. With the premise of the app being that users must explore the outside world in order to progress in the game, Business Insider reported that

At this point, it seems like a wise business move for restaurants to begin to cash in on the success of Pokémon Go, as the game seems to be driving customer visits and sales.’

a suggestion that has been heard by many and implemented by some.

This is one of the first examples of a truly hybrid leisure experience, which has implications not just for gaming and hospitality but the relationship between individuals, technology and the outside world.

This creates opportunities for both existing outdoor leisure providers and also entirely new ones, as well as potentially changing the way we think about our communities and the way people can be incentivised to be healthy and active.

Trajectory are well versed in how consumers across Europe and America are spending their time, with our exclusive Time Use study offering insight into what people are doing, when they’re doing it and how much fun they’re having. Through decades of time use research, one constant trend is that consumers enjoy out-of-home leisure more than anything else and this game both incentivises and redefines that. Though the evolving pattern of leisure in general is no surprise, the extent to which this app is influencing consumer choice already is rather unique.

We’ve often talked about the effects of the deregulation of life and the changes they have meant for the hospitality industry. However, the immediate reaction to the Pokémon Go app could be the first ripple in a building wave of how new technology is about to re-invent the way consumers are incentivised and it’s going to be one interesting journey to watch.