Niantic’s new AR demo inches us closer to real-life Pokémon

Pokémon Go developer, Niantic, has come a great distance. The firm is greater than its cultural juggernaut sport, and a recent demo released on Wednesday suggests it is likely to be one to watch when it comes to truly constructing correct augmented actuality {hardware}.

Niantic has teased an AR device earlier than, however the new demo proven off at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Summit has “precise headset gameplay” which, whereas jittery and fundamental, seems to be surprisingly prepared for primetime. The Qualcomm and Niantic partnership is now going to lengthen past {hardware} into software program that would carry equally spectacular AR experiences to different headsets, too.

Reference designs

Niantic’s “Outdoor AR Headset” seems to be like a skinny pair of goggles that pair with some type of controller, and notably, don’t appear to want a smartphone to work. The demo video Niantic launched reveals customers controlling characters operating up the aspect of a wall, receiving contextual data at a focal point, taking part in some type of knockoff Beyblade sport, and even combating different gamers in a robotic duel on a roof. It appears enjoyable?

Niantic describes its headset as a reference design and press supplies recommend it’s “powered by Qualcomm.” While Qualcomm has beforehand proven AR concepts that use the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 (the favored VR chip that powers the Quest 2), Niantic’s {hardware} runs on the AR2 Gen 1 platform, a new chip Qualcomm introduced alongside the demo.

The AR2 Gen 1’s versatile structure means it might slot in slimmer, extra conventional glasses shapes.Qualcomm

The AR2 Gen 1 is purpose-built for AR units, providing distributed processing by processors and co-processors on AR {hardware} itself, and with a companion smartphone, identical to Qualcomm rigged with its older XR 2 Gen 1 idea. It’s additionally ships with help for Wi-Fi 7, just like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Thanks to its multi-chip structure, it may be cut up into completely different elements to match into slimmer AR {hardware}.

AR Mapping

The greater announcement may find yourself being the businesses’ plan to combine Niantic’s Lightship VPS with Qualcomm Spaces in 2023. Lightship Visual Positioning System or Lightship VPS is Niantic’s software for creating location-based AR experiences. To borrow the corporate’s personal description, it’s a big “3D AR map of the world,” that enables AR objects you place in to be persistent throughout apps, telephones, and customers.

By including Lightship to Qualcomm Spaces, the chipmaker’s developer platform, anybody constructing an experiences or {hardware} with the AR2 Gen 1 in thoughts will get a direct leg up. It requires funding from builders and {hardware} producers, however contemplating Qualcomm’s affect, it might be massive for future AR {hardware}.

That’s what’s fascinating about Niantic’s ongoing work within the AR house. The firm has imaginative and prescient, identical to Meta, however for the second, it’s probably not promising something greater than cool apps, doable {hardware}, and software program programs that ought to profit anybody attempting to make AR work. A little bit focus and restraint goes a great distance.

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