Presented by Niantic
Niantic is gearing up to launch the platform that powers such apps as Ingress and Pokémon Go, out to developers to create their own experiences.
Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK), launching November 8, provides the tools for developers to bring their visions to life — semantics, meshing, and multiplayer are all included to let developers harness geospatial capabilities and bring their vision to life.
Niantic has been in closed beta for the Lightship ARDK since May, listening closely to the developer community and enjoying some creative early prototypes and demos.
The vision is clear — provide geolocation-based AR technology that lets developers create apps to promote shared experiences, movement, and exploration. Don’t let the company pedigree fool you, this isn’t limited to games — Lightship ARDK is the platform to create all categories of AR apps.
The current use of ‘metaverse’ is frequently brought up in terms of using VR terminology, but its AR component will be realized through geo experiences. This idea is one that Niantic has given much thought to: How to keep the here and now reality in augmented reality during a time when technology is replacing human interactions and connections. It’s simple — tech might be the catalyst to get someone outside and moving, but it’s the experiences that keep them rooted in the now.
The LIghtship ARDK launches with three key pillars — semantics, meshing, and multiplayer.
Semantics: Lightship ARDK classifies outdoor natural objects that a user scans (like the ground and sky), enabling AR content interactions on or with specific surfaces. For example, using ‘sky’ segmentation creates an experience where large AR objects are displayed on the horizon, properly occluded by buildings, trees, and other ground objects.
Meshing: Create persistent and realistic experiences. Lightship ARDK’s meshing feature translates the colors produced by the user’s camera, runs them through a neural network, and builds a mesh of tessellated triangles that create a machine-readable representation of the physical world. This gives the app a persistent and real-time map to create realistic AR interactions. For example, enabling “physics” where a user can throw a ball and have it bounce off a wall and roll off of a table.
Multiplayer: Unlock a world of powerful, social use cases for the app. From gaming to treasure hunts, multiplayer lets AR experiences shift from single user play to multi user.
Lightship ARDK is a turnkey platform, giving developers of all expertise levels the tools to create their vision. Head over to Lightship.dev to learn more and register to attend the Lightship Launch virtual keynote on November 8 at 10 am PT.