Categories: News

Niantic, Deutsche Telekom and MobileEdgeX expand AR game tech on 5G

Trainers, Niantic and Deutsche Telekom have signed a very exciting partnership deal today in Germany, aimed at bringing Niantic’s Augmented Reality platform Deutsche Telekom’s 5G network and server infrastructure. Note to our readers: this is text heavy article, but I feel like it’s worth a read. If you want to understand your favorite developers, you need to know which deals they make and why 🕵️.

Here’s a simplified version of why this partnership is exciting:

  • For years now, Niantic has been developing an advanced AR tech platform called “Real World platform for Augmented Reality gaming”
  • The platform entails a lot of incredible technologies, such as shared AR experiences (AR multiplayer), storing objects in persistent AR world and sharing those objects with other players
  • Niantic has recently acquired a company called Escher Reality (more info: Niantic acquires Escher Reality, an AR technology industry startup) that was working on the tech mentioned above
  • The platform requires a significant amount of bandwidth, network throughput and a content delivery network that reliably covers common player areas
  • Deutsche Telekom’s MobiledgeX allows developers to provide API services by using their network infrastructure
  • By signing this deal, Niantic has an infrastructure partner that can help them utilize and offer their Real World platform to a wider audience of third party developers
  • By signing this deal, Niantic has unlocked the door to integrating their Real World platform deeper into their existing games

Escher Reality’s persistent storage technology enables features that we have never seen in AR before, like finding objects and Pokemon hidden in actual terrain. Imagine this, but in Augmented Reality:

Credits /u/Solid_Snark, via /r/pokemongo, link to OP

Deutsche Telekom is an infrastructure partner for Niantic’s ambitious goal to offer an ubiquitous AR computing platform, similar to how Google Maps are the ubiquitous mapping platform that’s used by thousands of third party developers. Unlike Google, Niantic is not an infrastructure company, and that’s where Deutsche Telekom steps in.

Here’s what Jason Hoffman, President and CEO of MobiledgeX said about the partnership:

“We are very excited to work with Niantic Inc, the world leader in Augmented Reality gaming.  As a wildly successful company that creates uniquely collaborative gaming services, they recognize and are ready to harness the benefits of edge solutions today. Their needs of spatial understanding, real-time responsiveness and multi-player collaboration are a proxy for many other companies’ use cases and edge dependent experiences”

Fortunately, Niantic’s Michael T. Jones was a bit more substantial in his statement and revealed why both parties are actually excited for :

“We’re hard at work on technology that bridges the physical and digital worlds to pave the way for new entertainment experiences, advanced robotics and scaled adaptive computing. We’re excited to partner with Deutsche Telekom and MobiledgeX to access ultra low latency networks and develop systems that would enable the full potential of our Real World Platform.”

In other words, Niantic likes the infrastructure, and apparently, Deutsche Telekom likes the earning potential.

But alas, when can we expect to see the fruits of this partnership? Not soon, by the looks of it. 5G is still in heavy development, with wide adoption expected in the next 3-5 years, so we’re likely talking about a future Niantic game utilizing these features on a 5G network. It’s possible that we’ll get a sneak peek of the capabilities over the coming years, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for it.

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Zeroghan

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