Niantic shows off some next-gen Pokemon tech

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While this might not even end up as a part of a game, Niantic’s interest in advancing augmented reality continues with a new tech demo. It shows off Pokemon characters as an increasingly real-looking part of the world, avoiding obstacles thanks to the use of occlusion technology. Using a neural network, Pikachu can learn to dodge real-world obstacles and keep clear of people and other moving objects.

When future games use this, it is easy to imagine virtual pets coming for a walk and not getting stuck behind a plant pot, but their virtual leads could get tangled around a lamp post, or something similar. Given the number of Pokemon Go related accidents happening in crowded environments, hopefully there’s enough bandwidth in the scanning system to help real people avoid harm too.

Tie this in with improved visuals, better shadows and use of  natural light, and AR games or experiences could soon be genuinely wowing audiences.


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