Google is inviting you on a Pokemon hunt through Google Maps as part of its search for a new Pokemon Master.
On Monday, just ahead of April 1, Google unveiled a video on its Lat Long blog announcing it was seeking to fill the new job role of "Pokemon Master" and had launched a test to find the world's best.
The video showed people in outdoor gear scaling cliffs and riding boats and camels with their phone in hand, navigating with Google Maps and capturing their surroundings with a camera. In the on-screen, augmented reality version of their camera's view, monsters from Nintendo's animated video game and cartoon franchise, such as Pikachus and Gyarados, jump out from caves or get reeled in on the end of an animated fishing line.
Brian McClendon, VP of Google Maps, says in the video that anyone who collects every single Pokemon by 2 p.m. April 2, 2014 will be invited to the GooglePlex for the final round of hiring.
Those who download the latest version of Google Maps for iPhone or Android won't find an actual augmented reality Pokemon app. It seems that was just an April Fool's prank.
However, they will (for real) be able to hunt for cartoon Pokemons in the maps themselves. On Twitter, many people reported completing the #GoogleMapsPokemonChallenge before April 1. For those who want to speed up the process and don't mind a spoiler, some have posted online lists of where to find the 151 Pokemons.
Google made some other pre-April Fool's announcements:
- A new app called Auto Awesome Photobombs, that puts celebrities in your photos, starting with former Knight Rider star David Hasselhoff, announced on the Official Google Blog.
- A new feature in Chrome that translates text into Emoji - smileys and similar icons to indicate emotions or facial expressions - for faster reading, announced on the Google Chrome blog.