Matthew Neville

Pokémon Go creator and Digital Catapult partner to develop real-world metaverse

Niantic, the technology company behind Pokémon Go, is partnering with London based Digital Catapult, on an Augmented Reality (AR) acceleration programme.

The Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Accelerator will give UK startups the chance to develop game-changing immersive experiences as part of Niantic’s mission to create a real-world metaverse.

The accelerator programme will see global children’s brand Cartoon Network and internationally renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor work with startups and immersive studios on creating groundbreaking AR experiences for their brands.

Digital Catapult and Niantic will tap into the UK’s network of immersive startups and studios, supporting them to develop concepts utilising Niantic’s recently-launched Lightship Augmented Developer Kit. Three startups will be awarded up to £100k each to develop a demonstrator of a socially engaging AR experience using the platform.

Wayne McGregor CBE said: At Studio Wayne McGregor, we have always been committed to exploring the ever-inspiring relationship of new technologies and human performance – powered by physical intelligence.

“This unique collaboration with Niantic and Digital Catapult allows us to dream bigger and venture further into our evolving metaverse(s), visioning a new kind of shared creative adventure that untethers the imagination.”

Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult added: “The UK has unique strength in the large number of creative studios and businesses which have come out of sectors such as games, TV, film, vfx, theatre and music and which are now leveraging AR & VR technology to explore the creation of entirely new kinds of immersive experience.

“As one of the world’s leading businesses at the forefront of enabling the growth of augmented reality (AR) as a platform for new products and services, Digital Catapult is delighted to be collaborating with Niantic to drive early adopters and open up this new field of cultural and commercial opportunity.”

Kate Carlyle, senior marketing manager, Niantic’s Lightship Platform, concluded: “For brands in 2022, building a closer connection with consumers by enriching human interaction is central to staying relevant. And, as the physical and virtual worlds intertwine, we see the enormous value startups can bring to the development of real-world metaverse experiences.”

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