Pokemon Go developer Niantic wants to map out the world, in glorious 3D, and they want our help. The company wants to develop an “AR map” through the users’ cameras, helping collect and process data at a level that major corporations like Google and Apple haven’t been able to.
Niantic CEO John Hanke is a veteran of Google Earth and Google Street view, and he stated that “We want players to build out the game board they want to play on.”
Currently, Pokemon Go uses the player’s camera to render a 3D model of a Pokemon on the screen to simulate an augmented reality image. If an AR map was part of the program, Pokemon could “understand” the world their in. This means no more floating weedles and incorrect perspectives. The pokemon would be anchored to the virtual structures of the map. Though this is more so speculation, as the company hasn’t announced specifically what they plan to do with the technology.
Hanke states that the mapping process will begin with public parks and plazas while declining to specify which or when. Though we remain hopeful for the development of this new system and the benefits it could bring to the game.
Depending on how they intend to collect the information needed to make this happen, user privacy and data rights might be a problem. Even if there are no legal issues, many players may not agree to that level of location tracking and information collecting.
More on this, as it develops.