Niantic 6dSource: Niantic

What you need to know

  • Niantic has just announced the acquisition of 6D.ai.
  • Together they're building a 3D map of the world.
  • It means that one day we could experience "planet-scale AR experiences.

Niantic has announced the acquisition of 6D.ai, in a move it says could pave the way for "planet-scale AR experiences". In a blog post they stated:

Today, we are announcing the acquisition of 6D.ai and welcoming members of the talented team to Niantic. Together, we're building a dynamic, 3D map of the world so we can enable new kinds of planet-scale AR experiences. This means we're even closer to an AR platform that will unlock the ability for any developer to make content for current and future AR hardware.

From the beginning, we set out to infuse our daily lives and routines with a bit of fun and adventure by building an augmented world that parallels the physical. This bold pursuit requires significant advancements in AR technology that can only be made possible with an accurate and constantly updated 3D map of the real world. Now, we'll be able to leverage 6D.ai's deep expertise and significant breakthroughs in AR research and engineering to further our ongoing work in support of our mission.

6D.ai was founded in 2017 from Oxford University's Active Vision Lab. They build computer vision-based technologies to solve AR issues like 3D reconstruction. Looking ahead, Niantic says that this acquisition could lead to any of the following:

Imagine everyone, at the same time, being able to experience Pokémon habitats in the real world or watch dragons fly through the sky and land on buildings in real-time. Imagine our favorite characters taking us on a walking tour of hidden city gems, or friends leaving personal notes for others to find later.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of experiences that large-scale AR mapping can enable. We're looking forward to working with the 6D.ai team as we continue charting our course forward.

6D.ai said it was extremely proud to be joining Niantic, and that it would continue "to be laser-focused on building the 3D map of the world and finding the best way to bring those tool to the developer community so that everyone can benefit from the potential of AR."

So there you have it, Pokémon Go is about to be lit.