Niantic Shows Off Mixed Reality ‘Pokémon GO’ Demo Powered By HoloLens
Microsoft debuts its Mesh mixed reality platform during its Ignite conference alongside a Pokémon proof-of-concept.
Earlier today, John Hanke, CEO and founder of Niantic (Pokémon GO, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite), joined Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman on stage during the Microsoft Ignite conference where the two showcased a Pokémon GO proof-of-concept powered by Microsoft Mesh, a brand new mixed reality platform powered by Microsoft Azure that allows users to connect and collaborate remotely from multiple devices via “shared holographic experiences.”
“This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning,” said Microsoft Technical Fellow Alex Kipman. “You can actually feel like you’re in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you’re not physically together.”
While not intended for consumer use, the demo teased an exciting future for the immensely popular location-based multiplayer AR game, during which we see Hanke wearing a Microsoft HoloLens headset while exploring a Japanese garden filled with various Pokémon characters.
At one point during the demonstration, Hanke utilizes the HoloLens’ hand-tracking capabilities to activate a personal menu. Here he could access various items, such as fruit and Pokéballs, as well as Pokémon. I won’t lie, feeding Pikachu in mixed reality looks like an insanely good time.
The company was quick to clarify that today’s demo is a proof-of-concept meant to showcase the capabilities of Microsoft Mesh; there are currently no plans for a commercial release. That being said, Hanke has confirmed that Niantic is teaming up with Microsoft on “new kinds of experiences that advance innovation at the seam of the digital and physical world, and connect people together in brand new ways.”
As previously stated, Niantic is responsible for not only Pokémon GO, but various other location-based AR experiences, including Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress Prime. Founded in 2010, the company has since risen to become one of the leading providers of AAA location-based AR content, thanks in large part to its powerful real-world AR platform.
For more information on Microsoft Mesh and the Ignite conference visit here.
Feature Image Credit: Niantic