The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

Pokemon catalyst

Unless you've been living under a rock with a Charmander for the past few weeks, you'll have heard about Pokemon Go, the new smartphone game taking the world by storm. With over 50 million downloads on Android devices alone, this is big.

What’s this got to do with research you might ask? Well, for one thing, it highlights how quickly technology can impact on society — and the need for researchers to be abreast of these. But more importantly, the heart of the app is location based, using PokeStops to pick up useful items for the game, and ‘gyms’ to battle your Pokemon with other users.

Essentially, it rewards users for going to certain locations. This might be the tipping point for location-based apps. If they become more accepted, imagine the possibility this might have. Incentives linked to visiting set locations. Quick fire groups/depths with customers when they enter a store. Follow a day in the life. Location tracking provides a level of granularity and certainty we often struggle with, but Pokemon Go might be the catalyst to unlock this.


Colin Rice
Research Director, Discovery

This article was first published in InBrief magazine, September 2016
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2016