Niantic opens its AR platform to developers
Now anyone can make Pokémon Go 👩💻
Posted on June 28, 2018 11:42 PM.
The VergeNick Statt
Niantic Labs, the San Francisco-based game developer responsible for creating the massively successful augmented reality game Pokémon Go, plans to open up the underlying AR platform behind its products to third-party developers.
They're calling it the Niantic Real World Platform. Niantic has been hard at work, making strategic acquisitions in the space to build out their new platform.
Recently, we announced the acquisition of Escher Reality, who are contributing to our “Planet Scale AR” efforts. And today, we are announcing that we have acquired the computer vision and machine learning company Matrix Mill.
Using computer vision, the Niantic Real World platform can recognize objects like flowers, lakes, or sidewalks, and adapt its behavior based on the context.
It can also recognize depth, so virtual objects can be placed behind actual objects, and interact with their surroundings.
On current AR platforms, AR characters are merely superimposed on top of live camera video, so they cannot hide behind real-world objects. There’s a reason for that: the amount of processing power necessary to make occlusion work in realtime may be prohibitive on at least some current devices. The demo’s frame rate is not fully smooth, and Niantic hasn’t said when the feature will actually come to the Real World Platform.
The platform even has the ability to connect across multiple users, so you can build games and experiences that support multiplayer mode. The release of Niantic Real World Platform is taking advantage of the hype around building on top of AR, especially as Apple and Google continue to push exciting updates to ARKit and ARCore, respectively.
The VergeNick Statt
“Because we are so excited about the opportunity in advanced AR, we want other people to be able to make use of the Niantic Real World Platform, to build innovative experiences that connect the physical and the digital in ways that we haven’t yet imagined,” Hanke said. “We will be selecting a handful of third-party developers to begin working with these tools later this year.”
Niantic also published a page where developers can get more information about the platform.
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