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Niantic introduces new tools and debuts MR offering with 8th Wall

AI-enabled players are guided by way of a redwood forest by Wol the owl.

Wol is a brand-new mixed reality experience that has been released by Niantic, the company that is responsible for creating Pokémon Go. The owl-like character known simply as Wol, which is powered by artificial intelligence, acts as a guide for players as they traverse a forest filled with redwood trees.

Access to the redwood forest can be gained through the use of an augmented reality portal, and the Northern Saw-whet owl will provide participants with descriptions of the area in which they are located during the event.

8th Wall, who worked with Niantic to develop the initial mixed reality experience, powers Wol. Wol, a restricted launch, was created as a showcase of 8th Wall’s Metaversal Deployment, which allows the creation of WebAR applications that can be distributed on many platforms, including iOS, Android, and the Meta Quest Pro. In actuality, there is no requirement for downloading any apps in order to use Wol on the platforms listed above.

Director of Product Management at Niantic, Tom Emrich, said that the company’s team is delighted to show how the 8th Wall technology can be leveraged for developing AR material for the internet that is compatible with mobile devices and MR headgear since the web is a potent venue for augmented reality to thrive.

Niantic has also announced the release of a large number of new applications for the Lightship ARDK and the 8th Wall.

Niantic’s capabilities will be ready to work in conjunction with pre-existing AR Foundation modules for the very first time following the launch of Lightship ARDK in the open beta of Lightship ARDK 3.0, which is expected to take place in the near future. This will be the first time since the launch of Lightship ARDK that this will be possible.

In addition, Lightship Maps will be integrated into Unity, which will make it less difficult for developers to incorporate mappings into augmented reality applications.

Brian “Bam” McClendon, SVP of Engineering at Niantic, said that the company emphasises on creating eye-level, human-scale maps that are set in the backdrop of actual places. The scanning technologies and map APIs of the company allow for accurate positioning. He stressed that at Niantic, the belief is that augmented reality should be available to anyone, at any time, anyplace.

Niantic’s 3D pet-themed augmented reality game Peridot released recently, slightly over one year after it was first announced.

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