Niantic and 8th Wall this week revealed Wol, its first mixed-reality experience. Powered by 8th Wall, Wol puts players in the middle of a redwood forest with a small owl of the same name as their guide. In addition to the new experience, Niantic also revealed today that it’s rolling out new tools for developers, including Metaversal Deployment and expanded shared AR tools.
Wol, the mixed-reality experience, is a limited release available for Meta Quest headset as well as Android and iOS phones. Users can enter a redwood forest through an augmented reality portal, where Wol the Northern Saw-whet owl describes the environment to the user. Wol also demonstrates 8th Wall’s Metaversal Deployment, which enables developers to build a WebAR project to deploy on multiple different systems.
In addition, Niantic also announced that it is rolling out several new tools for both 8th Wall and the Lightship ARDK. With ARDK 3.0, developers who use Unity can use Niantic’s AR features with Unity’s AR Foundation and XR subsystems. Niantic is also using Lightship ARDK 3.0 to setup compatibility with wearable headsets, particularly those powered by Snapdragon Spaces.
Niantic also deployed Lightship Maps for Unity, so developers can use Niantic’s in-house maps for their own games. Brian McClendon, Niantic’s SVP of engineering, said in a keynote at AWE, “Niantic focuses on maps at the scale of humans, maps that work at eye level, within the context of real locations. We’re able to position realistically because of our scanning frameworks and maps APIs. At Niantic we believe in AR everywhere, all at once, for everyone.”
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