Sci-Tech

Niantic wants to create an intelligent world map

Niantic, the American company behind the mobile games Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, would like to further develop its augmented reality (AR) platform by creating an intelligent world map. In this way, it aims to differentiate itself from its competitors in this rapidly evolving area.

Four years after the release of Pokémon Go, Niantic continues to benefit from the worldwide success of its title. As a reminder, the latter reached a billion downloads in 2019 and had its best year in 2020, despite measures taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus. TechCrunch notes that the game has had sales of more than $ 1 billion since early January. Like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Pokémon Go is based on an augmented reality map of the world, a mark of its incredible popularity.

A few weeks ago we announced that Niantic had added new augmented reality mapping missions to Pokémon Go. Now players can scan real-world items and receive rewards. The goal: to use this visual data to strengthen AR models while improving the user experience. This functionality was made possible by Niantic’s takeover of the startup 6D.ai last April. The company specializing in 3D mapping was in fact working on developing augmented reality mapping software that runs in the cloud, specifically with Airbnb.

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“Our ultimate vision is that for an AR experience, it all has to come together to be truly magical,” said Joel Hesch, director of engineering at Niantic. “You want accurate location information so that you can see content in the right place and gain experience with other people in the same place. You want geometric information for things like occlusion or physical interactions. And you want to know what things mean from a semantic point of view so that your characters can interact with the world in an understandable way, ”he continued.

Therefore, the company wants to create a 3D world map that is updated in real time. Through this approach, Niantic hopes third-party developers can leverage the platform and compete with technology giants like Apple, Google, and Snapchat. The use and development of augmented reality certainly still holds many surprises in store for us.

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