As usual in the digital age, there are a bunch of people walking the streets glued to their phone, but there's a new reason for them to do so.
Rather than surfing Facebook, Twitter or Tinder, there's a good chance these pedestrians are trying to catch "Pokémon," i.e. the pocket monster characters in the latest mobile game craze "Pokémon Go."
The popularity of the game is immense: As of July 13th the game had just under 26 million people actively playing in the U.S. To put that in perspective – more people use the Google Maps technology in Pokémon Go than the actual maps app, according to one recent survey.
So what's causing the craze? Recode's managing editor Edmund Lee told CNBC's "On the Money" there are two main drivers fueling the phenomenon, which is based on the "augmented reality" created by combining real geography and computer generated data.
"Pokémon is a well-known franchise; it's been around for decades…there's a nostalgia factor," Lee explained. Pokémon Go uses Google technology and adds a Pokémon overlay to everyday landmarks, meaning the characters can literally be found anywhere.
In addition, "it's really easy to play, it's intuitive, you don't need to figure out too many of the game play dynamics," Lee added. "You download it, play with it for a minute or two and you figured it out."
While the game will remain popular, Lee predicted at least some of the initial players will drop off after a week or two of playing. "It's not going to be a mass, mass thing, but clearly it's big enough to show that this augmented reality thing isn't a passing fad." He added: "We'll find new ways of how it will be expressed in technology."