Pokemon Go was one of the first mobile games to introduce AR technology in the field, and it was not exactly perfect in terms of determining how to mesh the real and the virtual. By this we mean that the AR objects and animations didn’t exactly interact with the real scene it was put in and often tends to ignore the proper flooring and objects in the scene. This makes the AR appear incoherent.
But from the new demonstration that Niantic gave, this problem seems to have been addressed, at least to a major extent. In the latest demonstration by the Pokemon Go developer, we can see none other than Pikachu and Eevee duck and weave around real life objects like legs, benches and pots in what appears to a game of hide and seek. This new solution from the company is named Niantic Occlusion.
Though the demo showed a lot of promise, it wasn’t exactly perfect. There were times when we could see the Pokemons meshing in with the object boundaries and other times like when they come out from behind the pot, there’s a gap from the pot where the Pokemon body begins. There was also a time when a contraction joint in the concrete could be seen visible over the Pokemon. But overall this is quite a bit of improvement of what we have right now.
This new occlusion technology is made using Niantic’s Real World Platform, which uses machine learning to map out and trace the outlines of objects in 3D. Niantic explained in its blog post saying, “The Niantic Real World Platform is building towards contextual computer vision, where AR objects understand and interact with real world objects in unique ways–stopping in front of them, running past them, or maybe even jumping into them.”