AR version of Meta Universe, the company behind Pokémon Go has a big move

Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game based on location services. Players use the real world as a platform to capture, fight, train and trade Pokémon. This game became popular all over the world in 2016, and some people call it "the siren of the arrival of the new AR game era."

▲ Picture from: The Verge

A smoother AR experience may really be here.

Niantic , the developer of Pokémon Go, recently opened an underlying AR platform called "Lightship" , inviting developers from all over the world to make apps like Pokémon Go, but it is a step forward in augmented reality compared to Pokémon Go. Niantic CEO John Hanke said:

What Lightship provides is a technology that connects the physical world with the digital world. It is different from virtual video games. You can call it the "real world meta-universe".

▲ Picture from: Lightship official website

Since June 2018, Lightship has been opened in a small area , at that time Niantic demonstrated the two functions of Lightship.

One is a new AR vision technology called occlusion, which allows virtual creatures such as 3D Pikachu to be more realistically integrated into the real world.

▲ Picture from: Niantic

For example, if the platform can recognize flowers and perform background processing on them, then it will make the Pokémon bee "Combee" appear; similarly, if AR can recognize lakes, it will make Pokémon reachable The duck "Psyduck" appears. Recognizing objects includes not only knowing what they are, but also where they are.

▲ Up to duck.

Another technology allows multiple people to interact in a shared AR environment.

Niantic has developed a low-latency AR network for this, and each person can communicate directly with another person via cellular tower transmission. They have made a demo game called Neon to demonstrate the technology.

▲ Neon. Picture from: Niantic

Starting from the 8th of this month, Lightship is open to any developer and supports iOS and Android. Most software toolkits are free, but Niantic charges for a feature that allows multiple devices to access a shared AR experience at the same time. Niantic also pledged to invest US$20 million to provide funding for new companies developing AR applications.

▲ Picture from: Lightship official website

Just like the popular Pokémon GO that year, games are a good way to explore the cutting-edge of AR technology, but Niantic does not want to stop at AR games. They have a longer-term plan for AR:

Construct a reality full of data, information, services and interactive creation.

For this vision, Niantic has to do two things: first, synchronize the status of hundreds of millions of users around the world and the virtual objects they interact with; second, accurately connect these users and objects with the physical world.

▲ Picture from: The Verge

On the one hand, Lightship has been able to support millions of users to create, change and interact with digital objects in the physical world.

On the other hand, to accurately connect with the physical world, a new map is needed, but it has not yet been implemented, and Niantic is developing in cooperation with Lightship users.

The new map is similar in concept to Google Maps, but this map is built for computers rather than people. It requires an unprecedented level of detail, allowing a mobile phone or headset to recognize its position and orientation with high accuracy from anywhere in the world.

▲ Picture from: Qualcomm

In addition to developing applications, Niantic also plans to use Lightship for future outdoor AR glasses . Simply put, it is to transfer the AR function of the smartphone to the glasses-when we wear glasses to go out for a walk, Pokémon is walking in front of our eyes, scurrying around pedestrians, or hiding behind a bench. We live in the same dimension.

If you let your imagination go, outside of Pokémon, Mario, Transformers, Superhero Universe, Star Wars, all these "digital world residents" can open the "Reality Channel" to face us and encourage us to go out of the house.

In August of this year, John Hanke wrote a blog post , calling the idea of ​​Metaverse a "dystopian nightmare." He opposes VR, massively multiplayer video games and other products that keep people away from reality. He hopes that the AR experience will allow people to get up from the sofa, walk out of the home, interact with the virtual world, and contact the physical world. Technology can make us better in this dimension:

We believe that technology can be used to approach the "reality" of augmented reality-encouraging everyone to connect with the people around them and the world, which is what human beings are born to do. Technology should be used to improve these core human experiences—not to replace them.

Grapes are not the only fruit.

#Welcome to follow Aifaner's official WeChat account: Aifaner (WeChat ID: ifanr), more exciting content will be provided to you as soon as possible.

Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo