Augmented reality (AR) engine designers Niantic acquired AR immersive experience developers NZXR on Tuesday as part of a permanent partnership to create multiplayer experiences.
The New Zealand-based firm develops AR experiences, for brands and businesses, on smartphones and headsets, which will play a crucial role in Niantic’s focus on multiplayer Metaverse applications.
We are thrilled to announce that world-class AR studio @nzxrdev is joining our Niantic team! With NZXR, we’re even more energized to build new and exciting real-world AR experiences via @LightshipAR. https://t.co/HE9rXoysza pic.twitter.com/EORsyfXWOJ
— Niantic 🧭 (@NianticLabs) April 5, 2022
Previously, NZXR worked with Epic Games and Qualcomm, namely with the latter’s Snapdragon Spaces developer programme to create the AR content creation platform StoryXR.
By creating AR mobile applications like Skatrix, NZXR shows a deep knowledge of the crucial elements behind Metaverse platforms, including multiplayer integration, geotagging, and high-quality graphics.
The news comes following Niantic’s purchase of 8th Wall, a seasoned developer of roughly 50,000 immersive WebAR campaigns, so that the firm can offer more tools to Lightship developers establishing an AR Metaverse.
Erik Murphy-Chutorian, Chief Executive and Founder of 8th Wall, added,
“In joining Niantic, we will be furthering this mission by offering developers more tools to build engaging and interactive AR experiences which harness the power and freedom of the web”
In August last year, Niantic acquired Scaniverse, an iOS-exclusive 3D rendering application, to boost the cross-platform distribution and development of Lightship experiences. The partnership also enables Scanniverse to deploy its AR platform to Android devices in the future.
Niantic developed the Lightship Augmented Reality Software Development Kit (ARSDK) to power its popular Pokemon: Go immersive application. In November 2021, the firm opened Lightship to third-party AR development teams to build their own immersive experiences.
The platform integrates WebAR tools such as real-time mapping, multiplayer API, and semantic segmentation to create AR multiplayer experiences. The San Francisco-based firm also plans to enhance its ARSDK with new features, minor updates every six weeks, and major updates every six months.
Following the public launch of Lightship, Niantic secured $300 million USD in funding from investment firm Coatue to improve the developer platform and assist in creating a “real-world Metaverse.”
Niantic hosted the Lightship Build-A-Thon that encouraged AR developers to submit immersive projects, network with others, and learn from industry experts.