Niantic announces it has acquired 8th Wall to expand its AR tools for developers

In Augmented Reality News 

March 10, 2022 – Niantic, developer of Pokémon GO and provider of augmented reality (AR) technologies, has today announced that it has acquired 8th Wall, a provider of a web-based augmented reality (WebAR) development platform.

The announcement was made in a statement from Niantic’s SVP of Engineering, Mapping and AR, Brian McClendon, where he welcomed the 8th Wall team to Niantic.

McClendon noted that 8th Wall has pioneered web-based augmented reality, also referred to as WebAR, equipping developers, companies and agencies with a complete set of tools to create engaging and interactive AR experiences that are easily accessible and work on mobile devices — no app required. McClendon added that by joining forces with Niantic, 8th Wall will now empower more Lightship developers to realize their visions for AR in the real-world metaverse.

From the beginning, Niantic has stated that it wants to build AR technology that enables people to connect to others, discover new places, and play with friends in the real world. To make this happen, the company is working to fuse the physical and the digital by creating the world’s most precise 3D map of the planet.

With its Lightship platform, which was announced last year and launched globally in November, Niantic is offering all developers what it states will be “the world’s largest immersive canvas to bring their creations to life on a massive scale.” 8th Wall signifies Niantic’s largest acquisition to date and according to the company, greatly complements its vision for Lightship. As a result, Niantic now plans to expand its Lightship developer platform tools with 8th Wall’s proven WebAR technology.

Since 2018, the 8th Wall WebAR development platform has been used by developers to create over 50,000 experiences, including thousands for top-tier brands. 8th Wall supports billions of devices globally including 5 billion smartphones across iOS and Android as well as computers and AR/VR headsets. The 8th Wall platform has been used by agencies and creative studios to create AR activations for well-known brands from companies across industry verticals, including Pepsi, Microsoft, Nike, Porsche, Netflix, Heineken, LEGO, General Mills, Dior, Universal Pictures, Westfield, Verizon and more. Many of these experiences are can be found on the 8th Wall Discovery Hub.

McClendon closed by saying: “As the way people experience AR continues to evolve, we look forward to working together to create the best planet-scale platform technologies for more shared experiences grounded in the real-world.”

Also commenting on the acquisition, 8th Wall CEO and founder Erik Murphy-Chutorian, said: “We are thrilled to become part of the Niantic family as we join an incredible team dedicated to the future of AR made for the real-world. Together, we will enable developers to create AR experiences that encourage people to connect, discover new places and explore the world around them. By continuing our journey with Niantic, we will empower more developers, agencies and brands to realize their visions for AR and the real-world metaverse.”

Neither company had disclosed the amount of the acquisition at the time of publication.

For more information on Niantic and its augmented reality technology for developers, click here. To find out more about 8th Wall and its WebAR development platform, click here.

Image / video credit: Niantic / 8th Wall / YouTube

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.