Pokémon Go creator Niantic this week announced its new location mapping software for AR, VPS, along with a brand new location-based social network called Campfire.
Niantic’s Visual Positioning System lets developers give users the option to determine their position and orientation and anchor AR content, adding locations to Niantic’s AR map of the world to build their own location-based AR apps and experiences. 30,000 such public locations are available including in San Francisco, London, Tokyo, LA, NYC, and more. Niantic says that VPS is powered by scans from its players of the real world known as Wayspots taken from Ingress and Pokémon Go, as well as millions of photos taken on devices like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13
Then, there’s Campfire, which Niantic describes as a “real-world Metaverse”:
Campfire is a real-world social network which starts with a map and adds people, events, communities, and messaging. We think of it as the “homepage” of the real-world Metaverse – a place where players can discover other players in their local area, message one another and share content, organize their own events and meetups, and foster the kinds of real-world social connections that have always been at the core of what Niantic does.
The Campfire social integration will let future users have real-life meetups for events such as Pokémon Go raids and more.
VPS is part of Niantic’s Lightship platform, which lets devices cooperate using shared AR experiences in real-time. With innovation from companies like Niantic, AR promises to be one of the best iPhone features of the future and could pave the way for great experiences on products like Apple VR too.
You can read all of the Lightship Summit announcements here.