I was in Australia when Pokémon fever struck. I had been following the phenomenon on Twitter, reading about pleas to stop playing the game at Arlington National Cemetery and Auschwitz. But I knew it was really a thing while having dinner on the water in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, as we watched dozens of young adults over the course of our meal walk to a closed marina to capture Pokémon. On the drive home from dinner, we saw even more Pokémon trainers on the hunt for imaginary monsters. It’s hopefully as close to the Zombie Apocalypse that I’ll ever get.
Setting aside the concept of collecting imaginary pocket monsters, the app’s introduction of augmented reality (AR) to millions of users signals a new trend.
Here are a few ways augmented reality may be coming to politics in the not-so-distant future:
Recent improvements on canvassing apps have centered on data, leading to apps that provide door to door volunteers with an incredibly accurate picture of the voters they hope to encounter.
Augmented reality could be used to improve the navigation experience for a volunteer, so when they hold their phone up, they see data overlaid on the homes in front of them:
Advocacy organizations that offer endorsements or details about candidates or ballot initiatives can overlay their ratings, endorsements, or other data directly on top of a ballot at the polling booth:
When a candidate’s TV ad comes on air or a soundbite is played, a news outlet or candidate’s app can overlay facts about the ad’s content, in real time: