The company is making its Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit open to any and all developers.
Niantic, the developer behind location-based AR games such as Pokémon Go and Pikmin Bloom, today announced that it will be making its Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit available to developers around the world in an effort to build its ever-growing AR metaverse.
Beginning today, developers will have access to augmented reality tools from the company’s cross-platform Lightship platform, allowing them to build original location-based AR experiences for Android and iOS devices. According to Niantic, the ARDK powers the “top three AR features”: Real-Time Mapping, Understanding, and Sharing. This will allow developers to create realistic AR experiences that utilize ARDK technology, from real-time 3D mesh maps to the Multiplayer and Occlusion APIs.
“Sharing is a critical component to making all of these AR experiences feel real,” states the company in an official release. “ARDK’s multiplayer APIs enable developers to easily create AR sessions supporting up to five players concurrently. This allows for more interactive and collaborative applications that feel realistic and seamless, keeping virtual content, players, and their interactions in sync, all in real-time.”
The company also revealed Niantic Ventures, a new investment program designed to support AR developers. Niantic will be dishing out an ambitious $20 million in funding towards the development of its “real-world metaverse.”
“Transforming humanity’s relationship with technology by merging the physical and virtual worlds will require the ideas and perspectives of as many people as possible,” said John Hanke, Founder, and CEO of Niantic. “That’s why we’re so excited to open the vault of technology that powers our own games, so developers, creators, and brands globally can build inclusive experiences that push the boundaries of what’s possible in AR.”
Niantic has already begun working with several major organizations as part of a private beta of the Niantic ARDK. This includes Warner Music Group, the PGA, Science Museum Group, TRIPP, and Coachella to name a few.
“AR enables us to engage with Coachella fans in ways unlike ever before,” saidSam Schoonover, Coachella Innovation, in an official statement. “At the festival, attendees will be able to experience the show in new, interactive ways. Globally, fans will be able to immerse themselves in Coachella no matter where they live. Our vision is a future where anyone in the world can experience Coachella from anywhere and AR tools from Niantic give us the unique ability to make that happen.”
Feature Image Credit: Niantic