A couple of weeks ago, Google launched Ingress, a new augmented-reality game for Android devices. The idea of the game is that you explore local areas in a bid to find items. If I’m understanding it properly, its almost like an AR geocaching game of sorts.
Like a good many, I found myself initially reading this and thinking “Why would Google bother with what seems like a complete departure from their general market positioning and service offerings?” They’re not a games company after all. I’d missed something here though, and it took one keen-thinker over at Reddit of all places to spell it out – namely, how Google has become astonishingly good at creating services that get the public creating huge datasets for them; datasets which can then be developed into new, more relevant things that become part of Google’s bigger gameplan.
Don’t believe me? Then read this: