Blog
December 5, 2019
Collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies to Accelerate AR Software and Hardware

Niantic

Today at Qualcomm Technologies’ annual Snapdragon Technology Summit 2019, it was an honor to join Hugo Swart, VP & Head of XR, on stage to introduce our intentions to execute a multi-year joint collaboration on an integrated design spanning AR glasses reference hardware, software, and cloud-components.

To ensure interoperability with today's latest AR innovations and accelerate the development of tomorrow’s devices, the platform plans to be optimized first for:

  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 Platform: The world’s first 5G-supported XR platform. It unites Qualcomm Technologies’ expertise in XR, 5G and AI to provide breakthrough technology to help usher in a new era of XR. This premium-quality platform unveils innovative features and boasts multiple firsts for XR that can be scaled across AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality) and MR (mixed reality).
  • Niantic Real World Platform: Niantic's core technology stack that includes an AR-first SDK enabling high quality, immersive end user experiences and integrated cloud services capable of "world scale" to support millions of concurrent users in a shared AR experience.

At Niantic, we’re unlocking the potential to create next generation AR experiences through the Niantic Real World Platform, and building new ways to map, share and understand reality. The Niantic Real World Platform has been proven out by hundreds of millions of users, through consumer experiences such as Ingress, Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Last month, we announced the Niantic Creator Program and the Niantic Beyond Reality Fund which will open up the Niantic Real World Platform to the talented developers around the world to help achieve their visions in creating location-based and AR experiences. We’re excited to also share that access to this new collaborative architecture between Niantic and Qualcomm Technologies is expected to be provided to creators via the Niantic Creator Program when available. Developers and creators can apply to the Niantic Creator Program at niantic.dev.

We’re looking forward to helping move the entire AR industry forward as we work together with Qualcomm Technologies to define a true end-to-end architecture - inclusive of hardware, software, and cloud technologies.

- Phil Keslin, Co-founder and CTO of Niantic

Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

November 8, 2019
Infusing STEM & STEAM Into Our Programs

Niantic

At Niantic, we see education as one of the key components to the success of communities around the world. Not only is it pertinent that science, technology, engineering, art, and math are embraced in everyday learning, but providing access to these fields to everyone is key to moving educational standards forward.

Programs such as our educational curriculum work with TechRow in New York and mentorship support with Tech in the Tenderloin in San Francisco help bolster our core beliefs. Local office engagement programs provide our employees with ways to give back to the community, like our partnership with Young Women Empowered in Bellevue, WA. More so, programs like Y-WE focus specifically on empowering girls to pursue careers in the STEAM space by taking down barriers to entry and providing the hands-on skills they need to succeed.

Our game locations are also, as our players avidly know, places of culture and presence. Most of the game locations around the world are things like art sculptures, museums, and murals. Murals celebrate scientists like Ada Lovelace, museums span from hyper-local historic museums to the Louvre in Paris, and art sculptures honor legends like Martin Luther King Jr. All of these game locations have one thing in common - they help tell the stories of the cultures and communities around us, educating past and current generations.

If you’re looking to get more involved, help us raise support on DonorsChoose.org for STEM related courses, hop over to our social impact page to learn more about what you can do, or read more about our educational endeavours here.


—Yennie Solheim, Social Impact

November 6, 2019
Expanding the Gameboard of the World with Small Businesses

It’s our vision to create a gameboard that embraces meaningful and interesting locations and ultimately feels more relevant for our players wherever they are in the world. We’re developing technologies that expand our ability to map and understand the world around you which are essential in creating a better and more immersive experience whether you’re playing in a city or in a rural area. High level players can even submit new game locations with photos, titles and additional information they want in their game through the Wayfarer program, creating more ways for players to build out their own gameboard.

The world is also made up of businesses that are a core part of everyday life. On a regular Saturday, for many of us, going out in the world more often than not means visiting businesses -- from running errands at stores to visiting restaurants and other venues to socialize. As we look to expand the gameboard to be even more relevant to our players’ daily lives, these businesses, big and small, will play an integral role in blending the real and digital worlds together to bring magic and fun to more everyday moments - even running errands.

Today we’re announcing a Beta program for qualifying small and medium businesses with brick and mortar stores to easily activate sponsored locations. While we’ve worked with large nationwide businesses such as McDonalds and 7-Eleven in Japan, AT&T in the US and many more to create sponsored locations, this is the first time mom and pop shops can easily and quickly become a part of Niantic’s products.

We are always transparent and open to our players regarding sponsored locations and feel they mutually benefit our players and these businesses. Players have more locations where they are welcomed to play with their friends and access to special experiences sponsored by businesses, and businesses can attract more awareness and foot traffic while creating new layers of fun engagement at their real world locations. In addition, this may also create a potential new revenue stream for developers building experiences on the Niantic Real World Platform, without the interruptive nature of traditional advertising.

We do want to take a moment and remind everyone that, by default, sponsored locations are not visible to children without explicit parental permission. For more information on how we obtain parental consent and how we maintain our players’ privacy please visit our privacy policy here.

Starting today, small and medium sized businesses in the US can apply to join our Sponsored Locations Early Access Beta program, before we begin to launch in December, by visiting: www.nianticlabs.com/sponsoredlocations

We’re looking forward to building the gameboard together with our players and businesses around the world.


—Carla Li, Product Lead for Sponsorships