Niantic has made its name with AR technology, with the likes of Ingress, Pokemon GO, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The company, which used to be a part of Google before going independent, has announced that it will be allowing third-party developers to use its augmented reality tech in their own app development. Niantic calls the tech Real World Platform and demonstrated its latest improvements in a new demo featuring everyone’s favorite electric rodent, Pikachu.
Niantic acquired a London-based startup called Matrix Mill, which was working on machine learning technology. Niantic used that to create a neural network that could distinguish real-world objects and conceal virtual images behind them. The demo showed a comparison between today’s “standard” AR, and what it can look like with the new improvements, labeled “Occlusion.”
The standard demo showed Pikachu running around an outdoor scene, with a lot of potted plants, and people walking around. Of course, Pikachu was on the foreground, no matter what “obstacles” were in the way. Then the Occlusion demo showed Pikachu actually running being the plants and people, the virtual image disappearing and scaling as it ran to the background.
Niantic noted the demo as an experimental proof of concept, but it’s obviously the direction the company wants to take its games.
Source: The Verge