Using location-based augmented reality for social good


1) One of the biggest challenges of sustainability is inspiring and influencing behavioral change. Keeping volunteers involved and engaged over time is especially difficult. Moreover, government and non-profit organizations seeking to do social good in local communities typically are under-resourced and have limited access to data.

2) Like Pokemon Go has done, there is strong potential for location-based augmented reality to be used to encourage people to visit and experience places they never would have before, helping to create more awareness into the environmental and social issues right in their local communities. With Pokemon Go, people are beginning to explore new places in their surroundings, especially those areas that haven’t been traversed much before – abandoned parks, grey space, and otherwise. It unlocks a potential for players to pass through areas with potential for environmental and social support. Moreover, in the example provided in the article, the author points out that with location-based augmented reality, Pokemon Go could enable players to report non-urgent environmental or safety issues like potholes, trash pile-ups that could be shared with government and non-profit organizations. This would have the potential to create a powerful crowd-sourced data set for these organizations to use.

3) Stakeholders would include consumers, city dwellers, city government and non-profit organizations, technology companies.

4) The first step in implementing this type of technology is to identify the opportunity size for new environmental and social issues to be surfaced through crowdsourced data – for example, looking at a neighborhood in Brooklyn and using a small pilot group of volunteers to test. Once the opportunity size is identified, we could use this information to work with city government and non-profit organizations as well as technology companies like Pokemon Go to discuss private public partnership potential – and requirements for integration, accessibility, etc. Once the requirements are defined, we could develop a pilot app to test in the city and evaluate the amount of data gathered. Once successful, this could be rolled out to additional cities.

mst2135 august 4, 2016


2 thoughts on “Using location-based augmented reality for social good

  1. When Pokemon Go first came out, I thought the same thing. I think it is a great idea and new way of fixing sustainable related problems by connecting the two.


  2. Agree, this is a great idea and the perfect way to use the platform. One of the things that has impressed me about the Pokemon Go craze is seeing people of all ages interact in my neighborhood park while playing Pokemon Go, whereas they would have probably never interacted before.


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