To the delight of Pokemon fans everywhere, Japan is opening the world's first real-life Pokemon gym.
For an admission fee of 500 Yen (around 4$ U.S.), visitors to the real-life Pokemon gym can interact with animated creatures and characters, play games and meet their favorite Pokemon in real life. The virtual experience will utilize smartphone apps and augmented reality games that use physical movement to create digital reactions. Pokemon gyms are a feature of the original animated games: when Pokemon trainers aren't hunting for new Pokemon to tame, they visit the gyms to prepare and bond with their pets.
As this real-life Pokemon gym shows, augmented reality has introduced a new level of consumer expectation in children's entertainment. It's no longer enough to offer rides and costumed characters; kids and parents now expect a completely immersive experience that brings beloved characters to life while impressing visitors with advanced technology.