Why did Google get rid of the company behind Pokémon Go?
Augmented reality — tech that lets digital worlds interact with our physical one — is #Google ’s Moby Dick. Did the company let a whale slip through its fingers? By now you’ve heard of #PokémonGo, the mobile game that exploded in popularity over the weekend. Its allure comes from the ability to chase #Nintendo cartoons in real environments with a smartphone — a tangible application of augmented reality. If the game’s growth keeps up, it would be the first AR app for the masses. And those masses could have been addicted users for Google. But they’re not. Niantic Labs, the company that built the game, was formed inside the search giant but spun out on its own last fall with the formation of #Alphabet. The reasons why are very particular to the gaming company — but they also reveal some hurdles Google faces in its new experimental corporate anatomy.