Developer Shows Fantastic Pokemon Go Demo For Microsoft Hololens Mixed Reality Glasses

Take a stroll outside to any just about any area and you're likely to run into people playing Pokemon Go on their smartphones. It's the hottest thing right now, surpassing Candy Crush as the biggest mobile game in the U.S. of all time, and iPhone users are spending more time playing Pokemon Go than updating their Twitter statuses or logging into Facebook and Snapchat. It's a remarkable use case scenario for augmented reality and the potential audience that's out there, but could you imagine if Pokemon Go existed for Microsoft's Hololens headset? You don't have to imagine it—a development studio in Amsterdam already did and built a pretty awesome demo.

That studio is Capitola VR, a division of Capitola Digital that's absolutely obsessed with virtual reality. It's stated goal is to create VR experiences for a wide variety of purposes. A team of 20 designers and developers work continuously on VR projects of all shapes and sizes, including campaigns for its clients and generating tools, services, and entertainment solutions. Given Pokemon Go's immense popularity, it was only natural that Capitola VR would be drawn to it.

Pokemon Go Hololens

The Pokemon Go demo it cooked up is playable on Hololens. Like the mobile version, Pokemon characters appear, only instead of spotting them in a GPS generated map of your surroundings, you're seeing them in your home office, living room, and other real life locations as you wander about wearing Microsoft's headset.

"We were actually amazed how easy it is to launch an app for this device and create and optimize the mechanics and interaction," David Robustelli, Head of Digital at CapitolaVR, told Upload VR through email. "The build was created in Unity with the HoloLens SDK."

The prototype is a little rough around the edges, but it successfully shows the kind of immersive experience that's possible today. As currently implemented, randomly generated Pokemon appear in a person's surroundings, and to catch them the player makes a pinching gesture with their fingers. Doing so flings a Poke ball at the character with some rudimentary graphics effects. In a finished product, we'd like to see this evolve into actually throwing a virtual Poke ball.

To be clear, Capitola VR isn't planning to work with Niantic to port Pokemon Go over to Hololens. That's not really the point. The bigger picture here is that AR and VR have arrived, there's already an incredibly fun use case scenario in the mobile world, along with tons of untapped potential on hyped hardware like Hololens. Needless to say, the future of gaming in AR, VR, and mixed reality looks bright, folks.