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Pokémon Go Maker Niantic to Launch Metaverse App Lightship

Niantic plots a “real-world metaverse”

Pokémon Go Maker Niantic to Launch Metaverse App Lightship
Niantic metaverse // Courtesy of Niantic

Niantic plots a “real-world metaverse”

The Future. Niantic, the creator of Pokémon Go, is making its AR-focused “real-world metaverse” app creator open source for developers. The hope is to empower AR creators to work on a larger, interconnected platform… one that may bridge the worlds between closed-off iOS and Android operating systems.

AR you ready?
Niantic wants to turn the whole world into a playable AR world.

  • Niantic is opening up its Lightship software — a platform for building “real-world metaverse” apps — to developers for free.
  • Lightship is “built around the parts necessary to stitch together the digital and the real world.”
  • Lightship lets an app’s camera view map the environment, determine depth, and even place digital objects behind real-world ones.
  • Developers can also pay to access a feature that allows the app to connect multiple devices to a shared AR experience.

Additionally, Niantic is working on an update to the platform that would create a “visual positioning system” for AR headsets — meaning that whatever digital object is rendered in the real world will stay wherever it’s supposed to (as opposed to floating around).

And because Niantic wants to be the Meta of AR, it also set up a $20 million fund for AR startups —  CEO John Hanke’s way of fighting back against what he calls a VR-metaverse “dystopian nightmare.”