Author: Kevin Donoghue, CEO - Telesoft
Niantic Labs has a hit with Pokémon Go. As of July 11, Survey Monkey found the free app had more than 21 million daily active users in the U.S. It is also one of the most heavily used apps with users spending an average of 33 minutes a day playing the game. This compares to 22 minutes on Facebook and 18 minutes on Snapchat. Aside from the extreme stories like two men falling off a cliff while playing the game, Pokémon Go introduces new challenges to organizations handling mobile expense management.
First, as employees search and capture digital characters, they will consume mobile data from their monthly allotment. Reports are mixed on how much data is being consumed with the game. John Legere, T-Mobile CEO, tweeted “Pokémon Go” users on the carrier’s network have quadrupled their data usage. Some players confirm high use of their data plan. On the other hand, Verizon reports that the game makes up less than 1% of its overall network data traffic.
The app consumes 5 to 10 megabytes of data per hour. This is small compared with the 350 megabytes consumed watching an hour of HD video. At 10 megabytes per hour, users would have to play for about three and a half hours a day for 30 days straight to consume 1 gigabyte.
Second, the app is a battery drain with its use of GPS, the graphics processor, cellular radio and camera. It also requires a bright screen for outdoor use. CNET reports that 30 minutes of play consumes 15 percent of the battery compared to only 5 percent for 30 minutes with Facebook. In one uncontrolled test, 45 percent of an iPhone 6S’s battery charge was used in 30 minutes.
A third consideration is the security risk. Pokémon Go uses two sign-up methods. The more lengthy approach requires users to use the game’s website to create a Trainer Club account. The faster approach links a user’s Google account to the game through the app. This defaults to “full account access” that empowers the app with the ability to modify and delete: Google account data, passwords, emails, calendar events, Google drive documents, search history and private Google photos.
Silicon Valley and other firms are developing many new augmented reality offerings that blend the physical world with the digital world. Telecom managers need to be prepared for a wave of new augmented reality apps and update mobile policies accordingly. Before allowing employees to download these new apps to their devices, organizations must test them.
Ideally, organizations should have a policy that limits the apps that employees that can download while personal and corporate data is securely partitioned. EMM applications such as AirWatch or MobileIron should automatically restrict the apps that employees can download. Educating employees about the risks from Pokémon Go and other new apps will help organizations stay one step ahead of the next threat from augmented reality apps.Tags: mobile expense management