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Niantic Forms Consortium of 5G Carriers

The planetary teasers are back
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Francis Scialabba

· less than 3 min read

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Niantic already swept the world once with Pokémon Go. After acquiring a spatial mapping startup in May, the company said it would build “new kinds of planet-scale AR experiences.”

The planetary teasers are back. On Tuesday, Niantic announced partnerships with a global array of telecoms to develop 5G-ready AR apps.

For now, Niantic’s “Planet-Scale AR Alliance” includes Deutsche Telekom (🇩🇪), EE (🇬🇧), Globe (🇵🇭), Orange (🇫🇷), SK Telecom (🇰🇷), SoftBank (🇯🇵), TELUS (🇨🇦), and Verizon (🇺🇸). Niantic is hoping that more 5G carriers and device manufacturers will jump on board.

While there’s not much more info by way of substance, this announcement suggests more feature-rich AR experiences are on the way. Niantic has an AR Catan game dropping soon; it’s speccing a 5G AR headset with Qualcomm; and, recently, it’s been working on occlusion/computer vision tech for mobile phones. Is a digital twin of Earth coming next?

Bottom line: Niantic could distribute its AR content on more high-performance devices, while carriers would get new reasons to persuade users to upgrade.

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