Disruptive Evolution

Disruptive Evolution


A couple of weekends ago I took my mountain bike to a nearby park. Along the way, I noticed a larger than usual number of people young and old walking with their phones held out in front of them, smiling and focused on their screens. People playing Pokémon Go.

Hype surrounding the augmented reality game has mounted since its launch, with daily usage rates for the application now exceeding those of Facebook, Snaphchat, and Tinder. Apple has announced that Pokémon Go is the most downloaded app ever in its first week.

Edge cases were not far behind: In Missouri, nearly a dozen game playing victims were lured into armed robberies committed by a group of teenagers. One woman discovered a body in Wyoming’s Wind River in pursuit of one of the games virtual creatures.

Niantic –the game’s developer and an Alphabet company—promptly came under fire for using an out of date and unsupported version of Google’s shared sign on capability that appeared to grant unfettered access to a player’s Gmail account and Google Drive.  They have since promised an update and ask that players keep their heads up out there.

Within 72 hours of its release, security researchers had spotted a Malware version of the application carrying the DroidJack Trojan on a filesharing site.

If the relatively mature mobile app market and social media landscape can be thrown for a loop by something like Pokémon Go, what about IoT?

What unforeseen benefits, edge cases, or threats to security and privacy might emerge when an Internet of Things device catches the public imagination or the imagination of the private sector?

The inevitable backlash against people playing the game is also well underway.  I can’t help but think that part of the backlash is a reaction to people doing things outside and in public that are typically done inside or in pseudo-isolation – playing video games and participating in social networks.

We get used to new technologies and the change that comes with them gradually, and the flow of technologies and approaches from the consumer space to the world of the enterprise comes in fits and starts.

Will the next generation of workplace gamification feature Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality elements designed to foster real-world collaboration between birds of a feather or groups of experts required to tackle specific situations?