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Niantic introduces Visual Positioning System and Niantic AR Map at its Lightship Summit (Niantic)
Niantic introduces Visual Positioning System and Niantic AR Map at its Lightship Summit (Niantic)

This Week in ARExperience

May 26, 2022 by Jon Jaehnig
  • There are a number of movements at enterprise smart glasses manufacturer Vuzix. The company announced this week that they are working with partner and remote connectivity company TeamViewer to increase services in Japan.

    • This news follows an announcement last week that the smart glasses manufacturer has “signed a series of agreements” with French micro-LED company Atomistic SAS.
  • In other head-mounted display news, Meta announced in an email that the company is gradually rolling out some of the 4.0 version announced last week. The update primarily focuses on security and privacy with app-level pattern-locks, payment security, and encrypted messaging. Also included in the update: new keyboards and accessibility features.

    • None of the material currently available detail exactly when the pieces of the update will become available, or in what order, but, if you’re a Quest user, keep an eye out for these changes in the near future.
  • Meta also announced new titles coming to the Quest Store including Little Cities and Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall. Tempestfall is a reasonably priced entry in the powerhouse Warhammer saga, while Little Cities is only the most recent in the city simulation gaming category that has been growing in popularity in the VR gaming world recently.

    • Considering the increasingly massive role that XR technologies are playing in the AEC industry, it will be interesting to see whether professional community planners of the next generation credit some of their skill to the ongoing rise of spatial and immersive city simulation games.
  • Enterprise and education platform Engage released a new update this week. The update, 2.2.1 features a number of improvements to the platform’s avatar generation system to make the avatars more realistic and inclusive.

    • The update also rolled back an earlier edit that made joining live events trickier, and improved content creation tools – though some of the content creation updates are only available in the premium version of the solution and are currently only available as a beta.
  • Niantic’s Lightship summit this week included the release of their Visual Positioning System (VPS), as well as the ability of creators to add content to an VPS enabled map of the world with “density” already in key cities around the world including four population centers in the U.S., one in the U.K., and one in Japan and 30,000 locations over all.

    • The spatial computing giant also announced “campfire” — an information layer being built on its digital map, which the company calls “the ‘homepage’ of the real-world metaverse.”

  • UK-based WebAR company Zappar updated ZapWorks, their content creation engine. Most of the updates involve back-end interface changes for creators, but the targeting system has also been updated, so keep an eye out for new ways to enter Zappar experiences.

Updates, updates, updates. Not to mention more partnerships and acquisitions (and more international scope from Vuzix). We see a lot of WebAR content, a lot of nuance coming into displays and interfaces, but a good mix of entertainment and enterprise – including a potential glance at how the former can become the latter.