Niantic, the technology company behind Pokemon Go, is partnering with UK-based digital technology authority Digital Catapult to develop a ‘real-world metaverse’.
The Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Accelerator will provide UK entrepreneurs the opportunity to engage with Cartoon Network and globally renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor to create immersive experiences.
The program will look at how augmented reality technology might shape the real-world metaverse, transforming it into the next platform for social interactions, improving human experiences, and bringing people closer together. Moreover, Niantic just released the Lightship Augmented Developer Kit, which seeks to make creating AR experiences easier for developers.
Three startups are set to be awarded up to £100,000 each to develop a demonstrator of a socially engaging AR experience using the platform
“We’ve always been devoted at Studio Wayne McGregor to investigating the ever-inspiring interplay between new technology and human performance – propelled by physical intelligence,” Wayne McGregor CBE remarked.
“This one-of-a-kind cooperation with Niantic and Digital Catapult enables us to dream larger and go deeper into our expanding metaverse(s), envisioning a new sort of shared creative experience that frees the imagination.”
“We know that really connecting with movement allows us to have a deeper knowledge of what it is to be human and our role in the world. This initiative gives everyone the tools they need to tap into their inner creativity, engage with others in creative ways, and explore their bodies and the environments they occupy in new and unlimited ways.”
In addition, Digital Catapult has the most reach into the immersive ecosystem of any UK organization: its flagship immersive accelerator, CreativeXR, received 750 applications last year.
“The UK has unique strength in the large number of creative studios and businesses that have emerged from sectors such as games, TV, film, vfx, theatre, and music and are now leveraging AR & VR technology to explore the creation of entirely new kinds of immersive experience,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult.
“Digital Catapult is delighted to be collaborating with Niantic to drive early adopters and open up this new field of cultural and commercial opportunity as one of the world’s leading businesses at the forefront of enabling the growth of augmented reality as a platform for new products and services.”