PatentYogi has taken a detailed look at some of Niantic Labs’ location-based gaming patents and has put together a short video that explains how they think Pokémon trading might work in Pokémon Go.
Our quick take? This is very unlikely, and it’s based on older patents, but it does raise some interesting questions about how trading will work while providing solutions we think are a little farfetched.
“Basically, Pokémon Go has a virtual world with a geography that parallels the geography of the real world,” PatentYogi explained. “The patents reveal that Niantec has also developed a virtual transport system in this virtual world. Pokémons use this virtual transport system to travel within the virtual world. So the game has virtual aircrafts, virtual trains, virtual buses etc. to transport Pokémons all around the world. The cool thing is that this virtual transport system in the game also mirrors the real world transport system. Therefore, for a real world city bus, there is a corresponding virtual bus in the game.”
This patent isn’t exactly new — it was filed in November of 2012 and was made public in March of last year — but this is a neat look at how a trading system might work in the popular augmented reality game. IPWatchdog published an interesting look at this patent, among others, as they apply to Pokémon Go. It’s more likely that this was a system designed with Ingress in mind rather than Pokémon Go
PatentYogi’s concepts for trading based on this patent could also worsen some of the existing problems with the game, including a lack of options for trading if players live in small towns and players standing around places like bus stations and airports just to trade.
Niantic Labs’ CEO John Hanke has already confirmed trading is coming in a future update.