Niantic Is Asking Pokemon GO Players for Help to Build AR Maps

Niantic recruiting Pokémon GO players to create AR map of the world

Niantic recruiting Pokémon GO players to create AR map of the world

More precisely, the company wants to expand augmented reality beyond the realm of characters, and use the players' cameras to create AR maps.

Niantic CEO John Hanke has tried to reassure those that were left disappointed with last year's technical mishaps that they have worked hard to make sure that things run more smoothly this time around.

Camera apps today can digitally render a Pokemon or a new swing set at a playground.

The developer Niantic Inc. says Pokemon Go Fest 2018 will take place in July in Lincoln Park.

AR maps would enrich the "new kind of social activity" Niantic has fostered, Hanke told Reuters. Niantic is also developing "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite", another augmented reality game that's expected to be released later this year for iOS and Android devices. Software would generate a map by automatically identifying contours and objects in the scene as a user plays. Niantic plans on letting third-party developers use the AR map for their own apps.

Early in 2018, Niantic bought a startup called Escher Reality to help turn this technology a reality.

Google Maps said Tuesday it would launch an augmented reality feature later this year in some cities that compares live images from a phone to its Street View imagery database to provide directions when Global Positioning System is insufficient. Privacy and data rights may present hurdles, said Brendan Wallace, managing partner at investment group Fifth Wall Ventures, which connects landlords and tech firms. Businesses are reluctant to cede potentially valuable virtual space and are scared about big companies misusing collected data, Wallace said.

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