Augmented reality (AR) is on the move. Google recently announced the roll out of its software, ARCore 1.0. and today Mapbox has unveiled its latest AR platform. Mapbox AR is a piece of software designed for developers allowing them to add reality-grade location data to their projects.
Mapbox AR is a comprehensive toolkit combining AR rendering software with global location data, with a selection of features to aid both AR apps and videogames. These include: Live Location data, allowing for gameplay to adjust based on when and where people are present; 3D digital elevation models which include real terrain height; Multi-user, multiplayer support; Satellite imagery compression for low bandwidth environments and much more.
“AR isn’t just a catchy trend in Silicon Valley — the future of how we experience the world around us is going to change with the applications developers are building in AR today,” said Eric Gundersen, CEO of Mapbox in a statement. “We want to provide the best possible tools for joining augmented experiences to the world around us. As the first platform to provide true global reality-grade data, we cannot wait to see what developers build and are excited to help accelerate the transition from static maps to entirely new experiences.”
Launching today and demoing this week at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, Mapbox AR can be used by developers building Multi-user trip planning apps, enabling friends to plan a trip using the same map; multiplayer AR gaming so that gamers can be tracked through a city; or how about seamless pick-ups for ridesharing, where you can see the driver coming up from a distance with a large halo around their car as a clear visual indicator instead of trying to read the number plate.
“It’s no secret that Mapbox is betting big on AR and VR,” said Anshel Sag, associate analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “With the release of the Unity Maps SDK last year, Mapbox introduced a toolkit for developers to use real-world location in their games and applications. After raising $164M from Softbank last year, Mapbox strengthened their AR offering with the acquisition of Mapdata, a Minsk-based AI mapping company and FitnessAR, a popular AR app that visualizes bike rides and runs in AR. Some of the largest game studios in the world are also rumored to be working on location-aware games built leveraging the rich location data from Mapbox and their Unity Maps SDK.”