Deutsche Telekom and Niantic join hands over AR gaming

A technology partnership has recently been announced between Deutsche Telekom and Niantic Inc., creator of leading AR games Pokémon GO and Ingress PRIME. This partnership will bring Niantic’s Real World platform for AR gaming to Deutsche Telekom’s MobiledgeX Edge servers and 5G network.

Niantic’s Real World Platform combines the physical and digital worlds via advanced functionalities like real-time mass multiplayer experiences, persistence and visual occlusion, and contextual computer vision. These attributes will fully leverage Deutsche Telekom’s ultra-low latency network technology to provide seamless customer experiences, including the Edge infrastructure being built through decentralised cloudlets.

The California-based software development firm will start integrating its Niantic Real World Platform through the APIs of MobiledgeX on Edge servers. Its partnership with Deutsche Telekom will jointly demonstrate the capability of this new network technology to optimise high-speed synchronous multiplayer AR interactions in a shared environment. This will open up new opportunities for shared experiences and introduce lower friction access networks for Niantic’s AR Cloud, part of the Niantic Real World Platform.

Jason Hoffman, president and CEO of MobiledgeX, said that Niantic’s needs of spatial understanding, real-time responsiveness and multi-player collaboration are a proxy for many other companies' use cases and edge dependent experiences. Whereas Michael T. Jones, Senior Executive at Niantic, said: “We’re hard at work on technology that bridges the physical and digital worlds to pave the way for new entertainment experiences, advanced robotics and scaled adaptive computing.”

In July, an ABI Research study noted that AR and VR over wireless networks is gaining momentum in the industrial sector. According to the survey, 10% of industrial smart glasses, alongside standalone VR devices, will be connected to 5G by 2026. The analyst firm argues that many telecom operators, such as Verizon, SK Telekom and Orange, as well as connectivity players such as Qualcomm, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia, see VR as a key benefit of 5G technologies – when they get here. ABI cites Ericsson’s use of augmented reality troubleshooting in Estonia, expanding to other Ericsson sites in China, as well as Xerox in Israel as interesting use cases thus far.

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