Niantic is working hard on some state of the art augmented reality (AR) technologies. One of the things they’re working on right now, dubbed Niantic Occlusion, is an improvement on the existing AR systems. The improved AR technology is able to sense the world around it, allowing it identify different structures for AR interaction.
In their tech demo video below, they showed Pikachu and Eevee interacting around an environment, hiding behind people, potted plants, and other objects.
The recently acquired Matrix Mill team at Niantic has spent years building and perfecting deep neural networks that can infer information about the surrounding world from one or more cameras. This technology redefines how machines see and understand the 3D world and more importantly, how digital objects can interact with the real elements of it. Using computer vision and deep learning we are able to develop techniques to understand 3D space enabling much more realistic Augmented Reality (AR) interactions than are currently possible. In the above AR experience of Codename: Niantic Occlusion, you can see Pikachu and Eevee weaving through and around different objects in the real world, dodging feet and hiding behind planters. This level of integration into the environment around us is a proof-of-concept that excites us about the future of AR.
It’s not clear if this tech is going to ever be used in Pokémon Go, but it’s certainly an interesting look at future AR tech.