Lightship VPS: Niantic's promising new feature

At its first Lightship Developer Summit, Niantic announced a new feature that will delight Lightship creators.

What is Lightship?

Lightship is the AR experience creation software launched by Niantic. Indeed, since the announcement of Facebook's name change and its goal of the metaverse, Niantic has wanted to bounce back by explaining that the future world will be in augmented reality rather than virtual reality.

To encourage people to create augmented reality content, Niantic then released its Lightship software which is composed of a multitude of resources and features to create applications that incorporate augmented reality. You can then create augmented reality games that allow multiple players to play together.

Thus, in addition to regularly offering AR games, such as Pokémon Go or Pikmin Bloom, Niantic wants to take a considerable place on the augmented reality market.


The Visual Positioning System: a new feature of Lightship


While its software is already well developed, Niantic does not want to lose its lead and continues to improve Lightship. Indeed, during its first developer summit, Niantic announced its new "Lightship VPS" feature. This new system allows to locate the position of AR devices in a very precise way. For the moment the VPS system is not available worldwide but only in San Francisco, London, Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York and Seattle. With this feature, developers will be able to create games or immersive experiences in spaces of 10 metres by 10 metres.

In addition to this, Lightship will allow users to play and experience AR with other people when they share the same map. People also need to locate their smartphones to each other in order to enjoy the same experience with centimeter accuracy. Niantic says that GPS technology is too inaccurate for this type of functionality, so Lightship's feature includes over 30,000 VPS location points that allow for a more accurate and real-world experience. This will allow devices to understand if they are in the same location and with other connected smartphones to project the same AR content in multiplayer.

Lightship VPS: a promising system

Although this new feature is still under development and only available in certain cities, Niantic wants to develop its VPS worldwide to give its creators even more freedom over its software. To do this, it wants to take advantage of mapping data from smartphones using Lightship to develop its location point map quickly. However, it is certain that this will take more time as this data needs to be analysed and transformed to assimilate it into augmented reality location point mapping.

A system already used by Google

Despite its considerable lead in augmented reality content, Niantic is not alone in offering an accurate AR location system. Indeed, Google has already launched this through its technology in Google Maps. By harvesting all its data from the GPS application, the American giant has been able to develop a huge map of the world to develop augmented reality experiences around the world. This is possible thanks to the mixture of its visual data and an artificial intelligence that has been able to conceptualise a 3D map from photos of the streets. So you can create an AR experience on a building quickly with Google's software.

Augmented reality has become very important content for everyone and especially for brands. With AR, brands can offer entertaining and original content to consumers and their community without the need for more traditional advertising.