Niantic Teases AR Platform Capable Of Real World Interaction

The creators of Pokemon GO present AR technology that can detect real-world objects.
You may know Niantic as the American software company behind the cult-sensation Pokemon GO. Or perhaps you’re familiar with them as the team responsible for the geocaching app Google Ingress and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.
Whenever there’s a groundbreaking mobile new AR experience on the market, it always seems as though Niantic is responsible.

That was once again the case earlier this week as the busy AR-based developers unveighled the Niantic Real World Platform, an exciting new cloud platform capable of supporting cross-platform AR experiences on smartphone devices.
The real hook, however, is the platforms ability to recognize real-world objects and deliver augmented renderings that can interact with reality. So say you were chasing down a digital Pikachu in Pokemon GO. In the current version, that would mean a simple animation of Pikachu resting stationary in the real-world. With this latest technology, however, that same Pikachu would instead be zipping around your real-world environment, popping out from behind real walls and jumping onto of real object.

Here’s how the magic happens: utilizing your smartphones camera and computer vision, Niantic Real World Platform, monitors physical objects and landmarks in real-time, keeping note of any changes in the environment throughout. Machine learning is then employed to classify the detected objects so that NRWP can seamlessly bridge digital with physical.
Niantic looked towards Escher Reality when building out the low latency multiplayer component, while recruiting Matrix Mill to handle the actual digital interactions.

“We think of the Niantic Real World Platform as an operating system that bridges the digital and the physical worlds,” spoke Niantic CEO, John Hanke, in a blog post. “Building on our collective experience to date, we are pushing the boundaries of geospatial technology, and creating a complementary, interactive real-world layer that consistently brings an engaging experience to users.”

Now word on when we can expect Niantic’s “Occlusion Technology” will hit smartphones, but the developer has already stressed that the technology will be made available to other AR developers as well – a classy move during a heated AR platform war such as this.
Developers interested in getting involved can sign up over at Niantic’s official website.
Image Credit: Niantic
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