A small team of computer scientists, AI researchers, gamers, and cartographers, passionate about geospatial technologies and applications, came together in 2001 to create Keyhole, later named Google Earth after being acquired by Google. Their journey as Niantic Labs began in 2010 as a startup within Google, where they wanted to create gameplay with three core objectives for users to experience—exploration and discovery of new places, exercise, and real-world social interaction. Their first location-based mobile app, Field Trip, can guide users to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around them.
Niantic’s real-world AR platform is designed to enable users to interact in shared worlds that are seamlessly blended with the real world. Built on a foundation proven to scale to hundreds of millions of users, Niantic Lightship, earlier called Niantic Real World Platform, manages shared state, communication, security, mapping, and AR functionality. This platform leverages the processing power and cameras of smart devices and uses proprietary advanced machine learning and computer vision to understand the physical world in real-time.
In order to enable developers to build their own immersive, imaginative, and unique AR applications, the company is now offering broader access to the new Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK).
Niantic’s real world AR platform is designed to enable users to interact in shared worlds seamlessly blended with the real world
After the revolutionary Pokemon Go, Niantic, in collaboration with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, developed Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, an AR mobile game inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. The game helps explore real-world neighborhoods and cities across the globe, where players can go on adventures, discover mysterious artifacts, learn and cast spells, and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters.
Niantic is currently a leading name in the field of AR and real-world gaming. The company’s work represents the culmination of decades of experience in geospatial technology, real world gaming, and planet-scale AR. Looking ahead, Niantic will be focusing on how to bring its AR tools to everyone and every developer.