Niantic, best known as the developer of the popular Pokemon Go title, has revealed its plans to map the world in 3D with the help of players. Its plans to build augmented reality maps were confirmed by Niantic CEO John Hanke today. Niantic wants to play a major role in digital mapping and it’s looking to leverage its massive community for that purpose.
Hanke described the “AR map” to Reuters as a crucial resource for advanced augmented reality apps of the future. For that purpose, it will have to collect and process an astonishing amount of data. It’s not the only one working to solve this problem, heavyweights such as Google and Apple aside from many startups are working on similar ideas.
“We want players to build out the game board they want to play on,” Hanke told Reuters, adding that AR maps would enrich the “new kind of social activity” that Pokemon Go has fostered. The mapping initiative will first start at public spaces such as parks and plazas but Hanke didn’t say when the company will start doing that. He also didn’t reveal how AR maps would fit inside Niantic’s games.
With an AR map as a foundation, an augmented reality app would be able to create that park or plaza in AR and then enable users to build new virtual structures in that environment while allowing other users to view that same environment as well through their devices.
This means that players will be able to compete with nearby players on a revamped game board that they have created themselves. They will play with switch-on cameras and continue capturing fresh data which will help Niantic in its aim to map the world in 3D.
Expect Niantic to provide more information about this initiative in the months to come.