A new, thrilling chapter in AR history is out. Niantic opens Lightship ARDK, an innovative AR platform. This platform is for everyone.

Right now, the company invites AR creators to be part of a joint effort in making world-class AR apps.

Niantic AR platform offers instruments crucial for building AR apps:

  • active
  • open-world
  • multiplayer and cooperative

Join the Augmented Reality developers who are now benefiting from low-entry barriers to a friendly, innovative playground provided by Niantic Lightship.

Here is a short Niantic real-world platform review.

1 Key features of Niantic Lightship ARDK

Niantic Lightship ARDK provides an entire AR ecosystem bridging digital and physical dimensions.

The core Niantic AR platform components include:

  • Meshing
  • Semantic segmentation
  • Multiplayer

They are implemented as APIs. APIs save developers hundreds of working hours needed just to build the core.

2 Real-Time Mapping: Meshing

Meshing API makes it possible to build real-time mesh maps which expand as long as users move with a smartphone in their hand.

Lightship ARDK quickly susses out the topography around the user and translates it via a neural network.

The impressive result: virtual objects are displayed in the right order relative to real-world objects. For example, a spider crawling on the floor starts moving vertically when it comes to a column. Or it hides behind the column so that the user must change the angle to see it again.


3 Understanding: Semantic Segmentation

Semantic Segmentation API uses computer vision and AI algorithms to determine different surface types on the fly. It understands what objects are present in the surrounding area, how they are related, etc.

Semantic Segmentation ensures AR objects are contextualized properly. They appear on the right surface and interact realistically.

4 Sharing: Multiplayer

Multiplayer API is the key component of the Niantic tech platform.

Up to five users can share a session. ARDK aligns content perspectives and user interactions. Timing ensures users’ in-sync experiences.

P2P networking stack and a managed server free up developers from excessive coding. Additional features include player lobby system, synchronized clock, and a session-persistent database.

Developers can integrate any of them or all at once to their app projects.

5 Startups, it’s your turn now

Although Niantic entertained the world with its marvelous Pokémon Go where Niantic used AR for real-world experiences, AR has not caught on to achieve becoming a mass-culture phenomenon. There has not yet been a Pokémon Go successor.

Until now.

Now, Niantic’s real-world platform strives to repeat Pokémon Go‘s success on a new, meta level.

The goal is hardly possible without a joint effort by top-notch innovative AR developers. Apart from Niantic’s tech platform, investments, and knowledge transfer are available:

  • Niantic Venture – a $20-million fund will support those who help Niantic embody its vision of Augmented Reality.
  • Pricing – Semantic Segmentation API and Occlusion API are available at no cost. Multiplayer API is also free for apps with under 50,000 active users.
  • Niantic Lightship Developer Conference – the first in-person conference is scheduled for May 2022 to exchange plans and ideas.

First results are already here. Niantic, in partnership with Playcraft, organized a closed event called Lightship Global Jam. IT Craft was proud to have participated in it with an AR Quest demo game. It showed how Lightship ARDK can serve many different app types at an equally great level. Watch it here: the outcome.

6 In conclusion: the next big thing is out

Niantic’s AR platform, Lightship ARDK, is the next big thing, just like Pokémon Go was five years ago.

It is centered around a multiplayer experience. Users not only benefit from meaningful interactions with digital objects. They also enjoy communication and cooperation with their friends and peers—the entire world. The Augmented world.

Niantic Lightship platform is a great fit for creators in:

  • Gaming
  • Learning
  • Training
  • Promotions
  • Art

Now is the time for those startups who want to bring stories to life on the streets of users’ hometowns.

One more here for you.

Building the best AR app is possible with the right team of experts—experts who can bring the AR app idea to life. On time, on budget.

The experts who tested the Niantic tech platform can offer the optimal path to app launch.


Let’s build the future together.

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