Pokemon Go developer Niantic has revealed a number of updates to its ongoing AR developments, including new updates about its new SMB Sponsorship program and the Niantic Creator Fund.
In a detailed press release, the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite developer said the former had been established to permit “small and medium businesses with brick and mortar stores” to activate sponsored locations, “making this the first time mom and pop shops will easily and quickly be able to become a part of Niantic’s products” in the US. This means players will get to see these businesses show up in their in-game maps.
The Niantic Creator Program & Beyond Reality Fund, on the other hand, plans to collaborate more with external developers.
“We’re inviting all developers with a passion for real-world experiences to apply to collaborate directly with us, starting today at www.niantic.dev,” Niantic said of the scheme, which is set to launch next year. “By joining the program, creators can expect access to Niantic opportunities, the first of which will be the Niantic Beyond Reality Fund. This new fund is designed to bring inspiring, innovative real-world AR projects to life – from early prototypes to complete commercial experiences. The Beyond Reality Fund will give creators the opportunity to pitch their ideas directly to Niantic to secure funding and kick-start their creations.”
Joining the scheme will also enable participants to access the Niantic Real World Platform augmented reality development kit. “This proprietary toolset is created from all of the knowledge and experience Niantic has acquired building real world games like Pokémon GO and Harry: Potter Wizards Unite,” Niantic said.
Finally, Niantic shared a general update on how “the company is building towards the future of augmented reality experiences by mapping, sharing and understanding reality”, such as the Niantic Wayfarer program – a shared AR multiplayer experience for Pokémon Go called Buddy Adventure (working title) – and new developments towards “their revolutionary computer vision technology to help create more immersive experiences through occlusion”.