It will probably still be a long time (maybe never) before we can actually start seeing virtual Pokemon with our smart glasses or smart contact lenses and throwing virtual Pokeballs with our smart gloves. For now, we’ll have to make do with our smartphones and a bit of augmented reality magic. Even then, it’s still a long wait for Pokefans all over the world, but if you happen to be in the US, your wait might be over. No, Pokemon GO isn’t launching yet, but it is finally opening its field test in the US.
Pokemon GO is the closest thing we’ll probably get to seeing and catching Pokemon in the real world. The mobile game mixes elements of augmented reality and geolocation to deliver the semblance of a monster catching and training game. Fortunately, no actual Pokeballs need to be thrown.
Despite the obvious interest in this title, The Pokemon Company and Niantic Labs, the famed developer of that other AR game Ingress, are definitely taking their time to get the game out in the market. It’s still currently in Field Test phase, which is a fancy term for closed beta testing. That phase is extremely limited, so far in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and now in the US.
The field test is available for iOS and Android only (sorry Windows Phone users), versions 8 and 4.3 and later, respectively. Participating in test requires agreeing to a very strict NDA that could get you banned should you break it. Naturally, that hasn’t stopped leaks of the game’s state from going public. Signing up, of course, doesn’t mean you’ll get chosen. The selection process depends on many factors, like real world gaming experience and real world luck.
The registration process won’t be open forever, tough, and the page warns that the sign ups could be closed without prior notice. So if you’re a Pokemon fan based in the US and want to try your luck at catching this field test, best head to the Pokemon GO website ASAP.