Augmented reality goes to the Superbowl; Cisco commits to the Internet of Things with a billion-dollar embrace (even as IBM belatedly embraces the cloud); the staying power of the sharing economy is questioned; and more …
In 2016, Niantic will blur the lines between our world and the world of Pokémon with the release of Pokémon GO, its upcoming augmented reality game for mobile phones, which will allow fans to see and interact with Pokémon in the real world. Similar to its AR game Ingress, Niantic’s new venture will utilize location information and augmented reality to entice fans to search far and wide to discover Pokémon in our own world. As an added experience, a Bluetooth wearable device developed by Nintendo (called the Pokémon Go Plus) will notify players of nearby Pokémon and other related game events via vibration and LED lights, enabling players to remain active in the game even when not looking at their phone. With these and other exciting features, there is no doubt that Pokémon fans everywhere—including some Pillsbury attorneys—are eagerly awaiting the game’s release. As that release nears, though, it’s a good time to consider the potential legal implications of such AR-reliant games.
With still about a week left to go, Hudway’s Kickstarter campaign, which began last Wednesday for its augmented reality vehicle accessory, already has over 6,500 backers pledging more than $450,000—several times its initial $100,000 goal. According to its Kickstarter page, Hudway made the vehicle accessory, which turns your smartphone into a head-up display (HUD) for any car, “because we’re tired of waiting for others,” likely alluding to future endeavors by other automotive or tech companies like AR Driving Goggles from Mini, an AR system from Facebook, or an AR eyeglass-like device from the Google-backed startup MagicLeap. The success of the campaign suggests consumers are excited for this particular application of augmented reality. But even though the arrival of this once futuristic technology may be right around the corner, the necessary changes to the legal landscape that will allow and integrate the technology look a bit farther back in the rearview mirror.
With unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) (also called drones) anticipated to become a multi-billion dollar industry in a few years, many are betting that drone gaming will explode as the next big thing in competitive entertainment. It is not hard to see why: with the aid of first-person view (FPV) headsets and camera-mounted drones, drone gaming allows otherwise gravity-bound users to experience flight at exhilarating speeds—sometimes up to 100 mph. Despite their undeniable appeal and popularity, competitive drone gaming may stay grounded until Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines and regulations are more favorable. Nevertheless, there are a number of ways that drone manufacturers and drone gaming organizers can facilitate legal drone gaming competitions that may avoid the need of going through an FAA approval process—this post explores a few considerations.