Anyone who’s been playing Pokemon Go for a few days will have realised the importance of keeping their phone on – and of checking it even more often than the usual 85 times a day. After all, you never know when you might pass a Pokestop, which gives you crucial Pokeball refills, or indeed, a Gym, where you can rack up valuable experience (XP) points and train your virtual animal army.
Thankfully, that’s about to change with the launch of a new wearable device. Niantic, the company behind the smash game that was released earlier this month, has announced it will roll out the Pokemon Go Plus bracelet in the next few days. For the moment, only users in the US will be able to buy it, with availability cascading into Europe by the end of August.
A UAE release date, both for the game itself and the bracelet, are as yet unavailable – although #GNTECH has reached out to Niantic.
But just as UAE players have figured out how to work around the game’s geo-block, it’ll be easy enough to get these delightful new tech toys shipped over from the US or UK.
So why would you want the Pokemon Go Plus and what does it do? In a line, it finds Pokestops and helps you capture new Pokemon – while hard at work (writing this article for instance!).
Niantic’s website says the gadget will blink and vibrate whenever you’re in range of a Pokestop. Simply pressing a button on the device lets you search for items, which you can then add to your bag with a swap or tap.
Better yet, a light will flash if a Pokemon is near, the light on the Pokemon Go Plus will flash. It will also flash and vibrate when you pass a Pokestop. At this point, you can sneakily (if you’re in a meeting), press a button to throw a Pokeball. This will only work if you’ve already caught the creature before, in which case a quick flash and tremor will let you know you were successful. For new Pokemon, you’ll still need to look at your phone.
The 13g device is 46 x 33 x 17.55mm and will connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth (more battery drainage!). It will cost £35 (about Dh169) in the UK.
It’s hard to say what the Pokemon Go Plus will actually function like without getting our sweaty paws on one, but going by the handouts, the device pretty much sounds like a non-starter. On the other hand, it’ll help get you through your first 50,000XP level with minimum boredom, so that’s something at any rate.