Niantic, the AR specialist behind Ingress and Pokémon Go, has made a telecommunications dream team with some of the world’s biggest carriers. The ‘Planet-Scale AR Alliance’ has been formed with Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank, TELUS and Verizon. Together, they’ll be making… well, it’s not actually clear what they’ll be making. Niantic has been building and teasing a “planet-scale” AR platform for some time that will help developers make their own location-based experiences. It’s not clear how these will differ from Niantic’s existing projects, though, or the deluge of Pokémon Go clones based around properties like The Walking Dead, Dragon Quest and The Witcher.
Regardless, Niantic seems confident in its mission to augment the world. The company bought a 3D mapping startup called 6D.ai back in March, and continues to update it real World Platform, which is the software underpinning Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. With the Planet-Scale AR Alliance, Niantic has promised to “make available exclusive 5G-ready AR content,” and demonstrate something that shows “what innovation means in a 5G world.” Yeah, we know what you’re thinking: that’s an awful lot of buzzwords, and very little detail. In a press release, Niantic mentioned “persistence of AR content in the real-world that can be experienced by others dynamically.” Maybe you’ll see the charred remains of where your neighbor fought a Charizard last night?