Niantic Introduces a New Multiplayer AR Experience for Pokémon Go
The augmented reality hit Pokémon Go will be more realistic from 2020 and it will be possible for several people to view the game simultaneously thanks to a new multiplayer augmented reality experience set to be launched from next year.
Niantic had announced the “Real World Platform” in the summer of last year. This is a development environment that runs on advanced technology. Some of the games already running the platform include not only Pokémon Go but also Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress Reboot. However, they are running the software without the new visual augmented reality effects and tricks that Niantic had promised in the summer of 2018. This will change in the coming year.
Niantic has designed an AI-based process that extracts 3D spatial data from the traditional camera shots thereby allowing for Pokémon to be more realistically placed in the real world.
For example, with the process, when a Pokemon is discovered in a room, it will no longer shine through the wall but will instead be obscured by it (“occlusion”). This will enhance the degree of reality in the embedding of the Pokémon.
The multiplayer battles were already expected to appear next year but it is now apparent that Niantic is going much further than simply introducing a multiplayer mode.
The announcement made today integrates the multiplayer mode in the game. The multiplayer integration has been codenamed ‘Buddy Adventure’. Instead of battling, this will be a shared augmented reality experience where players will be able to indulge in taking care of their partner Pokemon together. Players will be able to interact with their own Pokemon via the augmented reality camera while also being able to see the other players who are interacting with theirs.
It is not yet apparent whether it will be possible for players to interact with other players’ Pokemon. The new update seems like a cool way of building the community aspect of Pokemon Go that often involves groups of players of banding together, exploring the outside world and catching new critters together.
According to Niantic, the new integration will also support the crossplay between the iOS and Android ecosystems. Niantic has also stated that this will be the “first ever multiplayer integration” for Pokemon Go which suggests that it might arrive before the multiplayer battles. Niantic has stated that the integration will be launching “in the months ahead”.
Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure: Have Several Pokemon in a Camera Viewfinder
The Buddy Adventure feature for Pokemon Go will enable multiple Pokémon Players’ smartphones to share the exact location of a Pokemon among themselves within the same location.
As a result, every player will be able to see the same Pokemon via the smartphone camera and even interact with it. The Buddy Adventure integration will be more than a visual element and it will also impact the gameplay.
The new multiplayer mode is platform-independent and will work with both Android and iOS devices and will be rolling out in the coming months. In the video below, you can view Niantic’s multiplayer technology in action using an example of an augmented reality puzzle.
Niantic: Endstation Augmented Reality Cloud
Niantic’s ultimate goal is to build an Augmented Reality Cloud which will be a real-world 3D coordinate system that will literally tap into the players of the Niantic games who will generate the necessary data via their smartphone cameras. It will also include object recognition.
An augmented reality software’s ability to understand its environment is the foundation of advanced augmented reality experiences. The “Real World Platform” is thus an important building block for the AR Cloud. The real-world data generated in the cloud is also monetizable and will be sold as a service to developers from 2020. If you are an interested developer, you can register here to gain access.
Late last month, Niantic had stated that the Pokemon Go Battle League would arrive in early 2020.
In other news, Niantic has also hosted a competition that will highlight the new use-cases for its augmented reality platform. The company will also bring sponsored locations to small and medium-sized businesses so users will soon begin seeing more Pokemon Go events popping around them.