Pokemon Go creator and Digital Catapult partnering to develop real-world metaversePosted 4 May 2022
Pokemon Go creator and Digital Catapult partnering to develop real-world metaverse
Niantic, the technology company behind Pokemon Go, is partnering with 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.
As organisations, governments and citizens are in the early stages of understanding what the metaverse means for them, Digital Catapult and Niantic’s programme will explore how AR technology can define the real world metaverse; becoming the next platform for social interactions, enriching human experiences, and bringing people closer together.
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 £100,000 each to develop a demonstrator of a socially engaging AR experience using the platform.
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.
We know that deeply engaging with movement gives us an intimate insight into what it is to be human and expands our understanding of our place in the world. This project provides everybody with accessible tools to tap into their innate creativity, to connect playfully with others and to explore their bodies and spaces they inhabit in surprising, limitless ways.Wayne McGregor CBE
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.Jeremy Silver Digital Catapult CEO
As part of this programme, we are thrilled also to be collaborating with two very different creative majors, the Cartoon Network and Studio Wayne McGregor. Bringing these brilliant partners together and enabled by Niantic’s Lightship technology, this exciting accelerator programme will give innovative companies the opportunity to develop totally new kinds of experience, blending the digital with the real world.Jeremy Silver Digital Catapult CEO
The Lightship ARDK lowers the barrier to entry for developers to create AR experiences, and enables immersive startups to bring virtual content into the real world, to inspire movement, exploration, and shared experiences.
While other conceptions of the metaverse bring people into an online world, the Lightship platform is using technology to bring people together outside, encouraging real world connection rather than isolation. The Augmented Reality accelerator launched by Niantic and Digital Catapult will not only encourage greater human connection but support UK startups to grow and develop new cutting-edge AR applications.
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.
This new accelerator program with Digital Catapult will allow startups to push the boundaries of possibility with technology, creating groundbreaking new experiences for leading brands – and we are proud to unleash the potential of our Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit as part of this.Kate Carlyle Senior Marketing Manager – Lightship Platform
The new partnership, which sits under the FutureScope accelerator programme, adds to Digital Catapult’s impressive roster of immersive programmes. Digital Catapult’s reach to the immersive ecosystem is the strongest of any organisation in the UK; last year, CreativeXR the flagship immersive accelerator received 750 applications.
Digital Catapult will deliver Niantic’s Lightship developer toolkit and funding to the startups with the most creative ideas that bring people together and enrich real-world experiences.
If you are interested in joining the programme you can find out more here.
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