Once and awhile, something comes along that captures the imagination and attention of a huge segment of the population. Sometimes it's a television show or a dance craze, and sometimes it's a mobile gaming app.

Take the latest offering: "Pokemon Go." This new game, based on a long-running and popular video game made by Nintendo, uses augmented reality to insert the game's characters into the real-time geographic map of the player's surroundings. This means players must travel to a physical location to find a particular Pikachu or Jigglypuff they can capture and live out the game's slogan of "Gotta catch 'em all." This refers to the little creatures, or Pokemon, players need to snatch up in pokeballs to train.

For many people who grew up playing older versions of Pokemon - whether on the Game Boy or with playing cards - it's a great approximation of a real-life experience of being in the actual game.

Since its July 6 release, the game has skyrocketed to the top of nearly every top seller list and now has more than 500 million users. Due to a potent combination of innovative technology and nostalgia for a well-loved game, the company has single-handedly added around $9 billion to Nintendo's value share in only a few short weeks, Inc.com reported. Further cementing the game's dominance in the mobile gaming sector, Gamespot reported that "Pokemon Go" in-game purchases accounted for nearly half of the entire mobile-gaming market's one-day total, raking in 47 percent of all buys July 10.

Augmenting your reality
"Pokemon Go" is not the first example of a mobile app - gaming or otherwise - that has taken advantage of the unique possibilities available by using augmented reality. Snapchat incorporated augmented-reality aspects into its application, which is used when users take a picture and add puppy faces, rainbows and other special effects to their snaps. The lamentable Google Glass is another example of AR-technology that attempted to gain a foothold in the market.

For the past few years, virtual reality technology has received a lot more hype and buzz than its cousin, augmented reality, Inc.com noted. But with resounding success of "Pokemon Go," it's clear AR tech has the potential to be a major disruptor in the startup financing field. As noted in Recode, AR offers a wider variety of real-world applications than virtual reality software, and costs significantly less money to roll-out and implement. By blending fantasy with reality, the game lets players seamlessly exist with a foot in both camps. 

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