Daily Management Review

Pokemon Go, the new oil energy sink


07/28/2016


The world is catching Pokemons, and economists and analysts are calculating the game’s impact on the economy. Do you know how much energy is consumed by one Pokemon Go player?



by Yoshikazu TAKADA via flickr
by Yoshikazu TAKADA via flickr
Each player that connects to the game, spends about 0.76 liters of gasoline. It doesn’t seem impressing, but if we add up all already existing plus future players, the overall impact of this augmented reality game will be equivalent to 20 thousand cars.

Now take into account hydrocarbons, which have been used in production of smartphones, servers, or any other part of the huge infrastructure that maintains the game for tens of millions of people around the world to play together.

Some went further, and calculated wear and tear during the Pokemon hunt, and decided that shoemakers would make bank.

Another significant part of the energy is spent on supporting hardware infrastructure. Success of Pokemon Go was so unexpected and huge that the servers were unable to handle the traffic. This creates a new need to spend more energy on the infrastructure upgrade.

To sum it all, the energy consumption caused by the game looks a little more substantial.

Pokemon Go is based on augmented reality technology. A player has to search and collect Pokemons - fictional animals possessing supernatural powers. Focusing on geotags, the user points their smartphone’s camera on a particular object in the real world.

Nintendo holds a stake of 33% in the Pokémon Company, and owns approximately 5-10% in the game’s developer Niantic. The game was released on July 7. At first, it was only available in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, and now it can also be downloaded in Europe.

Pokemon Go almost immediately became everybody’s darling, and the most popular game in the United States in history.

However, this is just the beginning. Augmented reality is a harbinger of virtual reality, which means transfer of high-definition images. Digital streaming technology are progressing, but its peak is still far away.

Nevertheless, the virtual world needs support of the physical world. And it's not so easy. Continued progress requires energy, and in the next 10 years, it may be so that impact of hydrocarbons on the internet will be stronger than on air travel.

In addition, there is the Internet of things, which also demands a lot of energy. The most viable solution to this is, apparently, the use of renewable energy sources.

Internet of things is a network consisting of a plurality of uniquely identifiable objects. They that can independently interact with each other via IP-based networks on a local or global levels. The ecosystem of the Internet of things (IoT) includes network equipment, intelligent systems, communication services, technology and a variety of data integration software.

So far, it looks far-fetched, since all of these technologies will become much more expensive. Moreover, even production of the respective equipment still requires use of oil. 

source: oilprice.com






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