April 5, 2022 – Niantic, developer of Pokémon GO and provider of augmented reality (AR) technologies, has today announced that it has acquired NZXR, an AR studio based in New Zealand. NZXR has led the creation of AR-first experiences for years, helping companies and brands create engaging and interactive AR apps and prototypes for mobile phones and AR headsets. Joining Niantic, the NZXR team will become an integral part of the design and development of multiplayer real-world AR experiences unique to the company.
According to Niantic, its goal has always been to create augmented reality experiences that can be enjoyed by millions of people and to build the technology that powers them and third-party applications, mainly in the form of its Niantic Lightship AR software development kit (SDK).
From Niantic’s first AR game offering with Ingress, to Pokémon GO and Pikmin Bloom, people around the world come together to play Niantic’s games and explore the world in the process. The NZXR team will help Niantic accelerate new kinds of AR experiences for the real-world metaverse where users will be able to create, contribute, and interact with digital objects in a way that is persistent and shared by everyone, according to the company.
Niantic added in a blog post that NZXR shares its vision for how technology can positively impact people’s lives out in the physical world. NZXR has created unique multiplayer AR experiences that blend the real and digital worlds for mobile phones, as well as for AR headsets from Qualcomm and Magic Leap. The team has built dozens of experiences and supported projects including interactive theater, AR skateboarding, multiplayer AR demos, and more.
Commenting on the acquisition, Dennis Hwang, VP of Visual and Interaction Design at Niantic said: “We’re excited to welcome NZXR to Niantic and continue building the future of AR and the real-world metaverse together.”
Image / video credit: Niantic / NZXR
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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.