Niantic has its own messaging solution in mind for Pokémon Go players, which is a social AR app called Campfire. It will enable you to plan events, discover new locations, and share content with other players.
Consider it a hyper-local social network built entirely for augmented reality—”the it’s ‘homepage’ of the real-world Metaverse,” as Niantic puts it (as if that makes things any clearer). Campfire is already available in Ingress, the company’s first augmented reality game, and it will be available in all of its titles starting this summer.
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Discord and other platforms have traditionally been used by Pokémon Go players to communicate with one another. Given Nintendo and the Pokémon Company’s aversion to social networking, Niantic would have found it difficult to incorporate social features directly into the game.
Finally, it is more logical to release a separate app that can connect to all of the company’s experiences.
In addition to Campfire, Niantic unveiled Lightship VPS (virtual positioning system), a new platform that will allow developers to learn the position and orientation of users more accurately.
According to Niantic, they will also be able to anchor AR content in place with “centimeter-level” precision. This will assist developers in producing better localization and persistence, which are the most important aspects of any AR experience.
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Based on short video contributions from players, the company created 3D maps in over 30,000 locations across six cities (San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, London, and Tokyo) to power VPS.