Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, has announced that it will help players create an augmented reality map. Niantic plans to allow third parties to use the AR card for their own apps.
Niantic believes that building an AR card is critical to the advancement of augmented reality apps. "We want players to build the playing field they want to play in," said John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, to Reuters. Hanke was the vice president of product management at Google's Geo department and led the development of Google Earth and Google Maps in 2005. Hanke launched Niantic at Google 2010. The company separated from Google in 2015.
"Pokémon Go" Enables users to project virtual Pokémon characters into the real world as they play the game. The technology is already impressive, but an AR card could improve it even further. For example, an app could create an AR version of a particular site and allow users to create virtual trees. Hanke also believes that AR cards could enrich the "new kind of social activity" that Niantic encourages through their players.
Hanke says it plans to build AR maps with public places, such as parks and squares. Unfortunately, the CEO refused to set a timetable, and he did not announce whether AR cards would go to "Pokémon Go" or any of his other games. Niantic is also developing "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite," another augmented reality game to be released later this year for iOS and Android devices. Pokémon Go has already been downloaded 800 million times, and Niantic has the ability to quickly create AR cards, as 9To5Mac shows.
Niantic acquired Escher Reality earlier this year and could be part of the company's kick-start plan to create AR cards. Niantic's plan to create AR cards is not just for gaming, as the company plans to let third-party developers take advantage of the technology. Industry executives believe it could be a multi-billion dollar business.
Meanwhile, Google brings Google Augmented Reality to Google Maps. During the company's I / O 201