Consistent with its emphasis of augmented reality for the masses, Google will be holding a keynote presentation at the 2018 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Google attended the conference last year by sharing tools and tips on mobile gaming businesses. The Mountain View tech company plans to contribute many more elements of gaming this year, accented primarily by seminars on augmented reality. Some such sessions include ARCore and its integration in Android devices, the Poly API and its 3D imaging elements, and development of AR in gaming systems. Google will also be presenting on YouTube Gaming, utilization of Google ad partners, machine learning for mobile gaming, and Google Cloud Player-vs-Player seminars.
Google has been easing into the gaming world for the past several years. The corporation spearheads so many facets of technology that gaming integration is the next logical step. Google partnered with Niantic Labs in 2012 to develop and produce Ingress, a real-world game that encouraged players to travel to new locations in a Google Maps overlay. The game began with two basic teams, and after choosing a side, the player would travel the earth (or local neighborhood) and collect items and use them to save the world, as the “future is at stake.” If this sounds a little like Pokémon Go, that’s because Niantic went on to use a similar stencil for the wildly popular pocket monster AR game. Google also hid 150 Pokémon on Google Maps for April Fools Day back in 2014, and even “promised” to hire a single individual who found all of the creatures. These, Easter Eggs, and other feats have enabled Google to become a valuable “player” in the mobile gaming industry.
From developing operating systems to creating self-driving cars, Google has its roots in many areas of technology. Gaming continues to gain popularity on an increasing number of systems, including PC, consoles, Android and iOS, and virtual reality. Google possesses the resources and experience to use its existing software platforms and its development in AR to pave the way for the future of gaming. Ingress may have been one of Google’s first attempts at meshing reality with software, but the tech giant is absolutely committed to furthering augmented reality.