Bosch gives thanks for Pokémon Go

December 19, 2016 // By Wolfgang Schmidt
Wolfgang Schmidt, senior manager of strategic marketing at Bosch Sensortec GmbH, remarks on how Pokémon Go underlined the importance of MEMS and inertial management units in 2016.

One only needs to look around to notice that the world is monumentally and incessantly changing right around us, with changes seemingly appearing every other day. People everywhere are preoccupied with their smart devices, whether it be with their smartphones, tablets, navigation devices, digital cameras or various combinations thereof. Staying in touch on social media, chatting, messaging, calling, playing games, reading articles, e-books or paying the bills, it's done on the go; walking in the street or sitting in the park, while shopping, jogging, or walking the dog. Our world is inextricably turning truly semi-virtual.

A great example of this is a new mobile app that has taken the world by storm: Pokémon Go, which became the top sales grossing game the world has seen within 24 hours of its release, was downloaded more than 7.5 million times within the first week, and quickly added billions of dollars to Nintendo's market capitalization.

The game has swept across the globe from Perth, Australia to Reykjavik, Iceland, as people have become hooked on searching for virtual pocket monsters in an augmented reality environment, with the game being superimposed in real-time on to the world around them. Pokémons can be anywhere, and people of all ages are hooked on catching these little monsters!

This worldwide phenomenon would not have been possible without some amazing technology under the hood: the micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) sensors all hidden inside our modern compact devices. This is where Bosch Sensortec comes into the picture: for augmented reality to function smoothly and realistically, the mobile device requires a powerful inertial measurement unit (IMU) consisting of an accelerometer and a gyroscope. Firstly, the gyroscope is responsible for tracking the three-axial rotation of the device in real-time, which requires an extremely fast response time to avoid delays, or so-called latency.

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