Pokemon Go is now out for iOS and Android, and was released 7/7/16.
It was created by Niantic, Inc., which was founded by the Keyhole, Inc. founder John Hanke. Keyhole Inc. was funded by Sony & Nvidia, along with a nice chunk of money coming from the CIA's venture capital firm In-Q-Tel, with In-Q-Tel receiving the majority of funding from the National Geospatial Agency.
The NGA was formerly known as NIMA, the National Imaging and Mapping Agency, until 2003. The NGA's primary focus is mapping Geospatial Intelligence, or GEOINT. Geospatial Intelligence is intelligence about human activity on earth derived from the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information that describes, assesses, and visually depicts physical features and geographical referenced activities on the Earth.
I checked out the NGA.mil website, the main page had an ad for what looked to be some type of Holo-Lens over a girl's face, advertising their magazine they publish. I'm sure they publish that for all their employees, not for general public to know (although it's free to read on their site, just not a popular publication since only NGA probably knows about it, and the few people that lurked onto the site accidentally).
So Niantic/Pokemon Go is basically a front for Geospatial Intelligence gathering, just like the former Ingress from the same company (which wasn't as hugely popular as the Pokemon intellectual property, basically every 90's kid with a capable smart phone is out playing this).
If they need pictures for a specific area updated, they don't have to send any agents/employees. They just spawn a rare Pokemon and someone using the app will take some pictures for them...
What are your guys thoughts on this application? Just a new Augmented Reality (AR) game, or GEOINT Agency wet dream?
A lot of the posts over on reddit regarding this have been heavily downvoted, which has a few users thinking it may be an 'actual conspiracy' since the astroturfers are hitting it so hard with downvotes and comments.
I found these sources (links from Wikipedia I found) and figured others may find this stuff interesting:
Describes John Hanke & Google connections:
On Google's Military-Industrial Complex, describes Google's acquisition of Keyhole Inc. & funding from In-Q-Tel:
Interesting video of Niantic Labs CEO, giving his "Adventures on Foot" speech: