Pokemon Go developer Niantic is looking at taking its augmented reality apps one step further by building in-game 3D AR maps of the world with the help of crowdsourced data.
Speaking with Reuters, Niantic CEO John Hanke explained that the developer plans to use data from users' smartphone cameras to build a map of the world, starting with public places like parks and plazas.
The crowdsourced data gathering effort sounds similar to how Niantic gathered information for landmarks through its previous location-based game Ingress and would expand on the “new kind of social activity” Niantic aims to create through its games, though the company hasn’t detailed exactly how the tech would be used.
“We want players to build out the game board they want to play on,” Hanke told Reuters. This all follows Niantic's acquisition of AR developer Escher Reality earlier this year and could result in the creation of AR games with static elements that can be viewed by multiple players at once in an augmented reality space.
While he didn’t elaborate on how Niantic’s current or upcoming AR games could take advantage of AR maps, he did say that the company would allow third-party developers to use the AR maps generated by the endeavor.