Niantic gained worldwide popularity when they launched their popular AR game, Pokemon Go, two years ago. Now they are offering a preview of the technology they have been developing: the Niantic Real World Platform. According to the company’s blog post, “This public preview will provide a sense of how committed Niantic is to the future of AR, and to furthering the type of experiences they have pioneered.” They will give select third-party developers access to their cross-platform AR tools.
Niantic has also acquired the computer vision and machine learning company Matrix Mill, and along with their previous acquisition Escher Reality, they’ve been able to establish what the Niantic Real World Platform looks like today.
The Niantic Real World Platform can digitize parks, trails, sidewalks, and other publicly accessible spaces and model them in an interactive 3D space that a computer can quickly and easily read. They also will work toward making this technology available to power-limited mobile devices.
The Niantic Real World Platform makes use of advanced computer vision, to make AR objects understand and interact with real-world objects in unique ways–stopping in front of them, running past them, or maybe even jumping into them.
They are also working towards Contextual AR, where they will explore ideas, for testing and creating demos that can think and visualize. For example, if the platform is able to identify and contextualize the presence of flowers, then it will know to make a bumblebee appear. Matrix Mill, their new collaboration will use computer vision and deep learning, to develop techniques to understand 3D space, enabling more realistic AR interactions than are currently present in the market.
Their cross-platform AR technology will also facilitate shared AR experiences. They have developed proprietary, low-latency AR networking techniques for shared AR experiences with a single code base.
Niantic will be selecting a handful of third-party developers to begin working with their AR tools later this year. Developers interested in news about the Niantic Real World Platform can sign up to get early looks of the platform.