Niantic, one of the developers of Pokémon GO, has made the augmented reality (AR) platform Lightship available to all developers. “Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK)” is now available for developers who want to work on the Metaverse concept.
Technology sharing for the rise of augmented reality
Lightship ARDK includes many tools that are also used in games such as Pokémon GO and Pikmin Bloom. These games include several features that Niantic has made popular:
- Real-time mapping
- Virtual interaction feature
- Multiplayer AR experience
The success that real-time mapping has brought to Pokémon GO is undisputed. This technology, which recognizes environmental factors, is used in many areas other than mobile games. To give an example, this technology in robotics allows the robot to move without crashing by recognizing environmental factors. In terms of games, it increases the fun factor by offering a different experience to the users.
The virtual interaction feature allows AR objects to interact with real-world elements. An example of this is the reaction of the pokemon in the game Pokémon GO to the activities of the players. Thanks to technology, the AR object understands and reacts to what you are doing.
Multiplayer AR experience tools allow these items to be experienced simultaneously on platforms with multiple users.
Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a statement on the subject:
“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. 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 will invest in AR developers
In addition to sharing technology, Niantic also established Niantic Ventures to invest in AR projects. Niantic explains the purpose of this investment project as supporting companies that share their vision of creating a Real-World Metaverse. The investment fund will be launched with $20 million and will support promising AR projects.
Lightship ARDK will be free for all developers for the first six months. From May 2022, Niantic will start charging apps with more than 50,000 monthly active users. It is possible to say that this move of Niantic will encourage AR developers and the industry.