Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance forms to showcase AR and 5G potential

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The newly formed Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance will simultaneously raise the bar for gaming experiences and showcase the benefits that 5G can deliver to businesses

Quick read

➨ Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank Corp, Telus and Verizon have joined the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance 
➨ Members will make available exclusive 5G-ready AR content while partnering closely on the development of experiences that best demonstrate the potential of the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks
➨ Central to the alliance’s work will be the Niantic Real-World Platform, an ambitious project almost a decade in the making and involving the support of millions of users to enhance physical locations with AR

The story

Niantic has teamed up with Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank Corp, Telus and Verizon to form an alliance that will make a global case for 5G-ready consumer AR content and experiences.

Members of the Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance will make available exclusive 5G-ready AR content while partnering closely on the development of experiences that best demonstrate the potential of the fifth generation technology standard for cellular networks.

Central to the alliance’s work will be the Niantic Real-World Platform, an ambitious project almost a decade in the making and involving the support of millions of users to enhance physical locations with AR. Features include synchronous multiplayer and reality blending.

The Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance will accelerate this work, according to Pokémon GO maker Niantic, and move AR as a technology onto its next stage of growth.

Niantic took a big step in this direction with its acquisition of 6D.ai, the developer of a 3D mapping engine capable of delivering planet-scale AR experiences.

6D partnered with Qualcomm and Nreal last year to develop a fully spatially mapped field-service application for Deutsche Telekom engineers working in the field.

Its platform uses a standard built-in smartphone camera to build a real-time, 3D semantic, crowdsourced ‘map of the world’, all in the background. Its 3D mesh allows developers to build world-scale apps where assets are persistent, responsive to occlusion, and synced between multiple users more efficiently.

The Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance is seeking further support from wireless carriers, device manufacturers and other mobile ecosystem companies.

Serge Laroye, of Niantic Planet-Scale AR Alliance member Orange, said the alliance’s work “won’t just raise the bar in terms of new and immersive augmented reality gameplay experiences for our customers but it will also showcase the benefits that 5G, low latency and edge computing can deliver to businesses, which can easily be applied to other industries beyond mobile gaming”.

An exciting aspect of the Niantic Real-World Platform is the ability for small and medium-sized businesses to add sponsored locations to games, opening up the possibility of new revenue streams from digital content and experiences.

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