Pokémon Go on HoloLens? Make it so!

Charizard on HoloLens
A mixed-reality view through a Microsoft HoloLens headset shows a Charizard taunting a Pokemon Go player. (Credit: Koder via YouTube)

Millions of Pokémon Go players are peering into smartphones to look for animated characters in an augmented-reality world, but what if they could look for them wearing Microsoft’s HoloLens headset instead?

That’s not commercially available at this point, but a couple of coding teams thought it would be cool to work up prototypes for a Pokeman/HoloLens mash-up – and now they’re sharing their results.

California-based Koder developed one such prototype. “My colleague [Paul Nguyen] and I built it over a 2-day period and made a video to show the experience,” Elmer Morales, Koder’s founder and CEO, told GeekWire in an email.

See the videos on GeekWire.


Boeing bans Pokémon Go at work

Image: Pokemon Jets
You can catch Pokemon characters on Boeing jets, as shown in this lineup for All Nippon Airways, but don’t try catching them at Boeing facilities. (Credit: ANA / Nintendo via Japan Info)

Mark off the Boeing Co. as one more place where you shouldn’t be playing Pokémon Go, the monster-catching game that’s been taking smartphones by storm.

It’s not that Boeing has anything against Charmander or those other cute virtual critters: It’s just that the game sucks up bandwidth as well as work time – and also poses potential safety risks.

9to5Mac reported last week that the game was being installed on more than 100 work phones at a large aerospace company, and that one employee almost got hurt due to gameplay distraction. Tweets and follow-ups made clear that the company was Boeing, and that Pokémon Go was added to a software blacklist that bans carrier bloatware apps.

Get the full story on GeekWire.


Pokemon Go is no-go for the space station

Image: Pikachu in Pokemon
Pikachu may fly on a rainbow in space, but don’t expect to catch one on the International Space Station. (Credit: Pikachu via YouTube)

Astronauts have zapped virtual aliens on the International Space Station, using Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed-reality headset. So how about Pokémon Go, the latest craze in mixed-reality smartphone gaming? No-go, says NASA.

“It is not possible for astronauts to play,” NASA spokesman Dan Huot told GeekWire, in just one of many emails he’s been sending out today in response to press queries. “There is a small number of smartphones available on ISS which the crew use for science activities (like SPHERES), but not for personal use.”

The smartphones and tablets that are in use on the station don’t have internet connectivity, Huot explained. The astronauts have access only to the apps designed for the payloads they’re intended for, and can’t add apps as is typically done by smartphone users on Earth. If they need to use the internet – for example, to post snapshots on Twitter – they connect via laptops that are locked down in terms of cybersecurity.

“And as far as location services, the astronauts use ISS internal GPS data and custom applications to determine their location and position,” Huot said. “Location-based services we use here on Earth are not utilized.”

That means the space station’s navigation network couldn’t work with the Pokémon critters’ coordinates, even if the astronauts were connected to the game.

Get the full story on GeekWire.