In its goal to create a realistic 3D map of the world, Niantic has now acquired the 3D scanning iPhone/iPad app Scaniverse.

As reported by TechCrunch, Scaniverse “will remain on the App Store, with plans to continue supporting it as a standalone app,” and features previously available through subscription, including higher-resolution processing and support for exporting models to other 3D software, will now be free.

According to the publication, “one of Niantic’s goals is to build a detailed and endlessly evolving 3D map of the world — a step they see as fundamental to enabling true, rich augmented reality experiences if/when the world ever embraces something like AR glasses.”

As Niantic heavily counts on augmented reality becoming better over time, as its games depend on it, the company is pushing forward to have a realistic 3D map of the world.

In 2020, for example, Niantic launched an AR mapping feature for Pokémon GO users in some PokéStops around the globe. With that, players could receive some rewards when they scanned a PokéStop following these four points:

  • A 20-30-second scan that keeps the PokéStop in the center of the frame and is visible from top to bottom within the frame.
  • Maintain a consistent movement speed and distance between you and the object.
  • If possible, walk a full 360 degrees around the PokéStop. If walking all the way around isn’t possible, 180 degrees will still work.
  • PokéStop Scans taken in various environmental conditions (lighting at various times of day, different types of weather, etc.).

Apart from that, Niantic is partnering with some major companies and franchises to create AR games, as it did with Nintendo with Pokémon GO and a Pikmin game, Harry Potter, and even Transformers as well.

The company is also partnering with Microsoft to work on mixed reality, as it was announced in March.

Niantic is also said to be developing its own Apple AR Glasses competitor. According to a tweet from its tweet, Niantic could be developing its own AR Glasses while still partnering with other companies:

Apart from Scaniverse, in 2020, the company also acquired 6D.ai, another 3D mapping space company. What this will turn out to be has yet to be determined, but Niantic is heavily betting on AR.

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