Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, has announced the Campfire social app that will allow players of the aforementioned mobile augmented reality game to chat and organize get-togethers, helping players discover new people, places and experiences. Although the app is not yet available for Pokémon Go players, it is preparing to ease their dependence on other social media apps for communications. Niantic also announced the Lightship Visual Positioning System (VPS) that will allow developers to “build augmented reality experiences in the real world.”
According to the announcement, released at Niantic’s first-ever Lightship Summit for AR Developers, Campfire is an app for the “real-world metaverse” that connects the developer’s games as well as helping Pokémon Go players discover new people, places and experiences. “We want to help developers not only build amazing experiences, but also find audiences for them and help them build real businesses,” says Niantic. The app starts with a map and adds people, events, communities, and messages to the game.
The basic concept of the app is to allow Pokémon Go players to discover other players in their local area, message each other, share content, organize their own events, and meet up. These players use other social media platforms such as Discord to communicate. Niantic says the Campfire app is in Ingress, the company’s first AR game, and will soon roll out to all other Niantic games.
The other major thing that the developer has announced is the Lightship Visual Positioning System and Niantic AR Map. With this system, developers can determine the position and orientation of users, and “stabilize AR content with centimeter-level accuracy for augmented reality on a global scale.” Furthermore, developers can also add locations to the Niantic world map, which is generated using surveys (short video excerpts) of real-world locations collected from surveyors and players. The developer says that more than 30,000 public sites that are activated by VPS, including San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle, are available.
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