The popular AR game Pokémon Go’s developer Niantic has dropped some hints about the game’s future, suggesting that “exciting things are in the works.”
Kjell Bronder, the lead product manager for augmented reality (AR) at Niantic, talked about the company’s ambition to reach the multiplayer potential of the mobile game unveiled back in 2016. “If you look at that original Pokémon Go trailer, you’ll see that there’s a lot of stuff in there we still want to do,” said Bronder.
The announcement coincides with the launch of Niantic’s new developer platform, Niantic Lightship, focused on building a host of new AR capabilities for the current marketing, suggesting that Pokémon Go could be set for a major overhaul soon.
Several new exciting functionalities such as real-time mapping, semantic segmentation, and a more robust multiplayer experience have been made possible by the company’s latest technology.
“To better augment reality, objects have to act naturally or behave as you would expect, so real-time mapping allows software to better understand your environment,” said Bronder.
Another Niantic source also commented that the company plans to keep the Pokémon Go universe “alive and vibrant.” The news puts away the rumors of a sequel and instead suggests that we should get to see the “amazing multiplayer battles” debuted in the game’s original concept video.
Niantic’s new Lightship technology will allow eight players to share the same AR experience within the game along with features such as peer-to-peer messaging for better cultivating a sense of community among users.
“There’s nothing that’s going to bring a virtual object to life more than if multiple people are seeing the same thing at the same time,” Bronder added. “But you have to actually understand the pose of all the different devices that are looking at that same scene. You’re overlaying on top of the real world, so it’s more important than ever that you have real-time communication to keep all of the different objects in sync.”
The new developer platform is now in the private beta stage, and we can expect some significant Pokémon Go updates soon. “There’s so much more to do,” Bronder said, “and we’re working on more than a dozen games.”
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