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March 8, 2023
Exploring AR + AI at Niantic

Teams from across Niantic are assembling this week to explore how the variety of breakthrough AI tools could be applied to augmenting real world scenarios. In the weeks leading up to the five day hackathon, participants have been learning and experimenting with many of the new tools and services companies are building and we are grateful for their support before, during and after the hackathon. We can’t wait to share more in this blog post in the coming days and weeks.

NEW: Innovation Labs

As Niantic Labs, we’re partial to labs oriented work, so we’re also excited to announce a new program designed to provide developer teams outside of Niantic with support to explore what’s possible by augmenting the real world. The first cohort of this new effort will be chosen from a pool of WebAR and machine learning experts who will help us explore what generative AI and WebAR can do together.

We love hearing from developers all the time, so if you’re interested in learning more about becoming an 8th Wall partner, start your own journey building in WebAR with 8th Wall today.

Since the kickoff of the hackathon earlier this week, teams have coalesced around 33 leading projects. On day one, in addition to solidifying the teams, we focused on continued learning including an excellent collaborative session with the InWorld team.

Teams across seven offices and other remote locations, from SF to London to New Zealand, are working hard, laughing a lot, and building prototypes to share with one another. Early on, several projects are benefiting from the creative alchemy that generative AI tools afford, and the spirited collaboration of the hackathon environment.

Among the 33 projects underway, some of the most intriguing ask very important questions and challenge some assumptions about location based AR, including:

  • What if buildings had personalities?
  • What if you could switch out celestial bodies in our solar system with each other? Like switching out our moon for Saturn, or even a rubber duck…
  • An asset generator that can create different characters based on their geographic location.
  • Character actions and personalities based on mood, location, weather…
  • A post-apocalyptic adventure game generator that you can play in the real world at real locations.

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