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Pokémon Go developer Niantic is opening up its AR development platform

Pokemon Go Pixel phone
Pokemon Go Pixel phone (Image credit: Android Central)

Niantic, the development team behind Pokémon Go, announced today that it'll now allow third-party developers to use its AR technology that powers not only Pokémon Go, but Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, too.

Niantic's AR tech is called "Real World Platform", and it uses a combo of computer vision, object recognition, and depth detection to create for those augmented reality experiences we've become so fond of.

If you're a developer, you can now visit a new website Niantic's created where you can apply to start using it. According to CEO John Hanke:

Because we are so excited about the opportunity in advanced AR, we want other people to be able to make use of the Niantic Real World Platform to build innovative experiences that connect the physical and the digital in ways that we haven't yet imagined. We will be selecting a handful of third party developers to begin working with these tools later this year.

If this sounds familiar to something Google did earlier this year, that's because it is. During this year's Game Developer Conference, Google launched its Maps APIs for the Unity game engine to help developers create more accurate and immersive AR experiences.

In addition to the Real World Engine now open to use by other developers, Niantic also shed some light on features that'll soon be available for it — such as shared AR multiplayer experiences, better blending of AR elements with the real world, and more.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite for Android: Facts, rumors, and theories

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

2 Comments
  • Android doesn't have AR+ yet. It's only on iPhone despite Android having AR Kit. AR in PoGo on Android is just a pokemon layered over the camera feed. Maybe this is their way of saying AR+ is around the corner for PoGo on Android. If not, then what are they offering? Also, why would developers use Niantic's AR platform when Google has their own that works cross-platform?
  • I hope this means that AR+ is coming to Android! 😁