The Niantic Real World Platform, a software development toolkit used in the creation of gaming hits such as Pokemon Go and Ingress, is being made available to Android and other mobile developers, Niantic Labs announced earlier this week. The initial public version of the service is being described as a preview of things to come, with the San Francisco, California-based studio stating that its decision to launch the system is the latest step in its efforts to support and help popularize augmented reality development moving forward.
Niantic is describing the solution as an operating system for blending the real world with digital assets, having confirmed its two hit AR games were both largely built with the same system. Instead of a model-based approach to worldbuilding, the Niantic Real World Platform pursues a people-centric approach, being capable of quickly digitizing locations and turning them into three-dimensional canvases for developers to play with while simultaneously being relatively efficient and not requiring powerful hardware to operate. In regards to the latter, Niantic has also been committing significant resources to optimize the solution with the goal of getting it to work on smartphones and its breakthroughs in the field will now be available to all third-party developers.
Niantic has yet to attach a firm release date to the project, having only said limited testing with select third parties will begin later this year. Developers interested in leveraging the Niantic Real World Platform can convey that ambition directly to the company by referring to the banner below. Only "a handful" of studios will be selected to participate in the closed beta test of the solution, Niantic said. The company just recently pushed out one of the largest Pokemon Go updates ever, with the mobile game itself presently boasting a massive base of active players, the largest since its launch in the summer of 2016, SuperData Research estimated earlier this week.