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Opportunistic Analysis of a Mobile Fad

Monitoring subjects in the wild not only allows targeted instrumentation of populations to answer specific research questions, it also allows researchers to investigate emergent phenomenon within the subject pool as the emerge as opportunistic natural experiments. During the summer of 2016, a population was under study for mobility patterns throughout the city when the Pokémon Go craze hit. A third of the participants reported playing Pokémon Go, and visible changes in activity patterns and mobility patterns were evident in the week following its launch. These changes quickly petered out providing an unprecedented glimpse of the impact of a technological fad on human behavior.

Study Profile

Participation duration: 4 weeks

Sample size: 65 subjects

Data sources:

  • Surveys
  • Location information
  • Physical activity behavior

Research Team

Kevin Stanley, Ph.D.
Associate Professor,
Department of Computer Science
University of Saskatchewan