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Pokemon GO Creator Niantic Labs Acquires AR Company Escher Reality

Niantic will use Escher’s technology to help build persistent, cross platform, multi-user experiences.

Niantic Labs, the developer synonymous with augmented reality (AR) thanks to its massively popular videogame Pokemon GO, has announced the acquisition of another AR company, Escher Reality.

In a blog posting, Niantic Labs’ CEO and founder John Hanke said: “Escher’s innovations focus on exploring the intersection of digital and physical worlds, augmented reality (AR), and computer vision. Escher’s technology helps to build persistent, cross platform, multi-user experiences.

“The addition of the Escher AR technology is incredibly exciting to us at Niantic as it significantly accelerates our work on persistent, shared AR as part of the Niantic real-world application platform. It’s our intention to make our cross-platform AR technology available more widely to developers later this year. Stay tuned for information on developer availability.”

Escher Reality’s AR technology might be used to further improve and expand upon Pokemon GO as the videogame is still massively popular due to regular update rollouts. That’s not all Niantic Labs is working on however. December saw the studio announce a reboot of its first title Ingress, adding new features and better visuals to create Ingress Prime. There’s also the little matter of a magical IP called Harry Potter: Wizards Unitewhich is due for release some time in 2018.

Pokemon Go Safari Zone

Via its own blog, Escher Reality’s Ross Finman, CEO & Diana Hu, CTO commented: “We’re really looking forward to integrating our work on mapping and computer vision technology into Niantic’s amazing content and AR platform. The long term vision is to help to bring shared and persistent AR experiences to millions of people around the world, and further realize AR’s impact going forward. Ultimately, we share Niantic’s goal of enriching people’s experiences by blending the physical and the digital worlds.”

Starting in the MIT Sandbox a couple of years ago, Escher Reality has grown thanks to investment by Uncork Capital, Founders Fund, Y Combinator, Liquid 2 Ventures, Webb Investment Network, iRobot Ventures, Presence Capital, Into Ventures, and angel investors. Developers have been able to sign up for Escher Reality’s beta API via its website.

For the latest updates from Niantic Labs and Escher Reality, keep reading VRFocus everyday.

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