Niantic, the creator of popular augmented reality (AR) mobile games like Pokémon Go and Pikmin Blood, is launching a real-world metaverse social app called Campfire.
Last month, the company made its Lightship Visual Positioning System available to developers, helping to lay the groundwork for the new ambitious Web3 project: an augmented reality (AR) real-world metaverse.
Campfire is the name of the new social network that will help users discover new people, games, and events in their community. And it will start to roll out in sections this week.
Besides gaming, there is a wide range of network capabilities on Campfire. Most impressively, dynamic local mapping will allow users to find community events, connect with nearby players through group and individual chat, and have local gaming experiences.
When players log in they will be able to see if others are playing nearby and become part of real-world communities and activities. The company says the dynamic map will be a fun way for users to explore their city or neighborhood and that they are enthusiastic the app will foster real-world connections.
Campfire, which has been in the beta stage with Ingress Agents over the past few months, will first be open to select Pokémon Go players before expanding to all users around the world soon.
Niantic Has Been Busy in the Metaverse
The ambitious move from Niantic should come as no surprise to Web3 fans, as the company has been extremely busy in the space recently. Just last week we reported on its partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA) to create an original AR game named NBA All-World.
The free game will be accessible via mobile phone and also make use of Niantic’s geolocation technology to transport fans into a real-world metaverse NBA experience where they can compete in their own neighborhood.
As metaverses continue to evolve and enhance their capabilities, Niantic will have plenty of competition in the space, including from the most popular decentralized metaverses The Sandbox, Decentraland, and Roblox — as well as emerging centralized metaverses from Web2 powerhouses like Meta (previously Facebook).
But the sophistication and past success of Niantic’s augmented reality games has shown it can offer users something different — not just a virtual reality experience, but a real-life experience enhanced by augmented reality. Whether you’re a Web3 fan or not, the novelty of the Campfire app and other projects from Niantic can’t be denied.