Pokémon Go creator Niantic just acquired augmented reality startup Escher Reality, the two companies announced today. Escher builds AR tools for mobile devices, and it will now help Niantic grow its platform to support planet-scale AR. This means players could one day band together to hunt Pikachus and Jigglypuffs in a persistent, shared AR game world similar to a MMO.
"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," Niantic said today in a blog post.
"We're really looking forward to integrating our work on mapping and computer vision technology into Niantic's amazing content and AR platform," Escher Reality CEI Ross Finman and CTO Diana Hu write in their own blog post. "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."
Niantic says it will make its cross-platform AR technology more widely available to developers later this year.