TRNDlabs is currently developing something they call the Pokédrone that can interface with your phone to play Pokémon GO and allow people to cheat at the game.
The drone plugs into your smartphone and connects via wifi. It then switches over your phone’s GPS and camera to the drone, allowing you to play the game without moving and letting the drone do the legwork for you.
Now in the promotional video (shown below) the reasoning behind this is that the drone can access areas that aren’t easily traversable for people, such as hovering over the surface of a lake for example.
However, Niantic has gone to great trouble to seed populated areas with Pokémon and while there are probably a few edge case scenarios where a Pokémon might be up a mountain cliff, it’s clear what this drone setup is actually meant for.
While necessity may be the mother of invention, it seems that in this case it’s more down to appealing to straight up laziness.
The whole point of Pokémon GO is that you get up and find Pokémon yourself, not to mention the whole social aspect of meeting up with other players. It’s been built as a real world videogame and that is brilliant.
Circumventing the whole point of the game then just feels wrong.
Admittedly, I could see this Pokédrone being useful for disabled gamers and I fully support that kind of usage. Not to mention, allowing players to search for Pokémon from a position of relative safety, rather than playing the game while driving a car let’s say.
That said while there are genuinely helpful uses for this technology, the reality is that most people will use it to cheat at the game and avoid finding Pokémon on foot.
This is not the first time someone has hooked up a drone to their phone to cheat at Pokémon GO either but this seems to be the first attempt at making it a commercial venture.
With no word on a release date or price for the Pokédrone, except that the team behind it is working very hard on the project and it may be out next year, it’s sad to think it took less than a few weeks before someone found a way to bypass how Pokémon GO is built and turn that into some form of merchandise.