Niantic published a new post, detailing the upcoming changes to the in-game Augmented Reality functionalities.

After reading the post, we reached out to our iOS development sources to find out more about the ARKit demo. The details are below, but be warned, your hype levels could go through the roof.

Niantic announced two big improvements to the AR mode:

  • Better Pokémon encounters in the wild and
  • A brand new AR Playground mode that enables users to see, place and play with their Pokémon in the AR world

The AR Playground mode is part of the ARKit Pokémon GO tech demo and enables developers to place Pokémon anywhere in the world around them, or better, on any plane around them.

More details about the ARKit demo

In order to find out more about the AR Playground, we reached out to an iOS developer with access to the demo. Our source confirmed that the following is possible with the PoGO ARKit demo:

  • Clicking on models triggers their Pokédex animation
  • You can place Pokémon anywhere around you
    • “It’s buggy, not as smooth as the stage demo, but works. Lots of clipping though, especially with bigger models.”
  • Swapping out Pokémon and moving them in space
    • The demo had a sandbox mode to place any Pokémon, login is not required
  • Walking around your Pokémon and walking from and to your Pokémon
  • Pokémon models do not interact with each other and they have no collision detection with each other
  • Currently, no other actions are possible (feeding, petting, walking)
  • The model doesn’t follow you and doesn’t have a walking animation (it’s a tech demo for ARKit, not for an improved Buddy feature)

The official blog post shows a high resolution version Chikorita, Growlithe, Pikachu and Charizard, but our source did confirm that the official image looks much better than what they experienced, although not too far off.

Niantic shared the following images as official ARKit demo images for Pokémon GO:

Pokémon GO AR Playground

Pokémon GO new AR Capture Encounter

Parting words

Before you board the hype train, we would just want to highlight that these features are part of a technical demo. They show what is possible, and not necessarily what is coming to the game.

However, we are quite sure that Niantic is going to push hard to actually introduce this as an actual in-game feature. It is as close to having actual Pokémon as it gets.

  • ダーク マウジー

    have been wanted something like Pokémon-Amie to be in the game since it released. i mean, that’s what the AR is for right??

  • Fix the initial bugs first.

    • Michal Husak

      The back-tracking technique (your xyz coordinate identification based on image analysis) is itsel not reliable. For true tracking images from multiple cameras + optical marks in the scene are required. So without dedicated HW it will be a demo only forewer …

      • hkmaly

        Not necessary. They can’t make it perfect, but they can lower expectations 🙂

        … in fact, images showing errors in back-tracking will be source of lot of popularity, so win.

        • Michal Husak

          I had tested several Android application working with perfect pre-defined black and white calibration images for back tracking. It was far from perfect, on the edge of “it can be used”. To work with previously unknown image required calibration and teaching. I am afraid that special HW (e.g. 3D camera with time of flight laser scanning) will be required to make it working enough good …

  • Jake

    If they can’t even fix the dodge glitch they shouldn’t be allowed to touch this tech until someone has bought the company, fired everyone including Hankey and hired all new programmers.

    • Antonio Mercurio

      dont worry the dodge glitch will go!! The gym rework next week!

      • Jake

        I hope so! My expectations are incredibly high. For me, for the long run, the gym rework will determine whether or not I keep playing past Gen 1 Legendary events.

        • Antonio Mercurio

          i think i will play this game for the next 6 months but im sure for most of the time not hardcore

    • hkmaly

      They can. They just don’t bother as they have more important work. Like making sure game can’t be played on rooted phones.

  • Antonio Mercurio

    Now this is pokemon go!!

  • Brad

    Wow, cool feature. When am I getting more stops within 5 miles of my house?

    • Charlie Woods

      I think you can contact them if there are some significant markers to attach pokestops to.

  • zoroark920 Tout puissant

    i think it will be so good but also if they put the playground and the 3 generation it will be great

  • Antonio Mercurio

    cool feature. Image how good the game would have been if it originally had this!!