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Home / Technology / LOOK: Niantic unveils Next-Level Augmented Reality, which allows Pikachu to hide behind objects

LOOK: Niantic unveils Next-Level Augmented Reality, which allows Pikachu to hide behind objects



Niantic has developed a new kind of augmented reality that is more aware of what's happening in a particular scene. The new technology is called occlusion, leaving Pikachu or any other virtual object essentially behind real ones. ( Niantic | YouTube )

Augmented reality is for the uninitiated when virtual objects are placed in real environments as if they were part of the environment. Niantic's Pokémon GO is Pokémon, creatures large and small, hovering over the user's environment.

The problem is that it is not perfect. While companies have managed to improve the technology to make AR more realistic, some hiccups still occur that take users out of the illusion. For example, AR can detect flat surfaces and planes, but identifying unstable terrain is more difficult. It also has limitations in moving objects in a scene because it can not identify all at once.

Niantic shows augmented reality with occlusion technology

Niantic has now demonstrated a new kind of AR that is more aware of its environment. The studio has just announced that it wants to allow third-party developers to leverage its AR platform, which it calls Real World Platform, and claims are constantly improving. To prove it, he released a demo video that featured a technique called "occlusion".

With the machine learning technology of a company called Matrix Mill, acquired by the company Niantic, a neural network has been created that can hide virtual images behind real objects in real time. In essence, this means that Pikachu can hide behind the legs in a scene or pots and park benches instead of constantly overlapping.

Do not expect to see it soon

It should be noted, however, that what Niantic has shown is still technically an experimental proof-of-concept, meaning that it is far from a mainstream implementation is removed. CEO John Hanke said this on June 27 in a meeting at San Francisco headquarters, as reported by The Verge. Still, it strongly indicates what the next generation of AR will look like, and it's certainly a promising first look at how games like Pokémon GO or the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite could be made more dynamic with AR technology, which is more aware of moving objects in a scene.

Now that it's in the experimental phase, it's not clear when it might come to commercial devices, but through the involvement of third-party developers. Niantic wants to make its Real World Platform as robust as possible for apps to emerge from. It is also interesting to question how Niantic's AR advances intervene in his broader plans for the Pokémon franchise, as the hype has largely wanted many years after its introduction. In any case, this should make any AR developer dizzy for what is possible.

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