Sorry to spoil your lifestyle, but if you had designs on the Pokemon GO Plus, created to accompany the new game sweeping our smartphones and social media feeds, you’d better check your bank account. The only place you will find one now is on Ebay or Amazon, scalped for much more than the original $35.00.
The Pokemon Go wristband was designed around the intentions of the game, to integrate players more with their surrounding world. Never mind if it meant they would run into traffic to “catch em all.”
First of all, what the heck is Pokémon?
In case you were not part of the craze known as Pokémon, which hit mid-eighties, then here is what you need to know.
Pokémon (plural) are game characters, featured in the game by the same name by Niantic. Human players attempt to collect Pokémon characters in order to fight other Pokémon characters. They have names like Squirtle, Charmander, and Pikachu.
The newest iteration of Pokemon, GO, is what you keep hearing about. It’s an augmented reality game, free for iOs and Android devices in their respective app stores.
Players download the app, then set up a profile. Once you’re set up, your avatar appears on a map of your surrounding neighborhood. It’s your real neighborhood.
There, you can see various Pokémon, sometimes right next to you. As you approach them, the app will ask to use your camera. There, in the view, you’ll find a character only visible in your viewfinder.
He’s not really there when you move your phone. You can throw a Poké Ball at him, catching him for later. Then you progress through the game collecting Pokémons, buying tools, sparring in gyms.
So, why would I want the Go Plus wearable?
Why, to catch em all, of course, silly. If you’re not 14 years old, you may not care, but no judgments if you do. There are many adults making way too much of a fuss about this game, but again… no judgments.
Plus allows wearers to find and catch Pokémon wherever they may hide, even when a smartphone cannot be consulted. You know, like when you’re in class and the teacher would frown on you consulting your phone.
That assumes your teacher doesn’t mind your bracelet flashing and buzzing when a Pokémon is near, or you running about the room to catch said Pokémon.
The way it works is simple, like a standard notification wearable, if it could also launch virtual traps to catch invisible creatures.
Plus launches a Poké Ball at your behest, after first advising you that a Pokémon is near. If you’ve caught this sort of Pokémon before, then the bracelet will help you catch him again.
Once caught, it notifies you of the catch. Your teacher will be none the wiser, save all the beeps and flashes from your wrist mixed with a tiny “got ‘em,” from you.
What can I do about it?
You don’t need the bracelet to play the game. In fact, the interface on your smartphone is way better. The bracelet has no screen, just lights, and buzzer.
With your phone, you can navigate, then see the characters live. You can also control tossing the Poké Ball, connect with friends, brag on social media.
The bracelet is part of the money-making machine for the totally free game. People who wear it, sell the game, but also pay way more than what it costs to make.
If you really must have one, you have two options…
You can wait for the Niantic team to release more Plus bracelets.
If you’re desperate to be one of the cool kids, you could go to Ebay or some such site to buy one for whatever amount the seller is willing to part with it.
As far wearables featured on BodyHacks go, this ranks as about the least fashionable, the least functional, but it’s probably the fastest selling yet.
The interesting combination would be to track calories expended catching Pokémon. Perhaps the FitBit Pokémon is just around the corner.