An announcement was made today by Niantic and the folks at Scaniverse – the former acquired the latter. Niantic is the company that created Pokemon GO and continues to expand their vision for a GPS-based and 3D-aware gaming and mapping ecosystem. Scaniverse by Toolbox AI is a 3D scanning mobile application that is (for now) based on the iPhone’s 3D-scanning capabilities with LiDAR.
It would appear that Niantic is making it possible for Scaniverse to “make multi-OS scanning easier and more accessible to the Niantic Explorer community.” Scaniverse will remain a standalone app – so that’s good! As Niantic suggets, their “unique depth technology enables fast, accurate 3D location scanning using the standard RGB camera sensors available on most smartphones as well as newer LiDAR based phones.”
Per the Niantic release this week, “the easier it is to scan, the faster it is to build a 3D map of the world.”
Niantic’s side of the equation seems to be the 3D scanning of locations bit – the part that creates the Lightship platform. Niantic wants users and creators to be able to capture high quality scans “for more fun and engaging experiences.” Those experiences can be supported by Niantic “as both a publisher and for third-party apps” using Niantic’s Lightship platform.
Scaniverse founder and CEO Keith Ito is set to join Niantic’s AR engineering team. Niantic noted that this acquisition will expand the potential for Niantic’s “real-world gameboard for Niantic Explorers.”
Have you ever used your smartphone or tablet to scan an item or location with said device’s back-facing camera array? Do you have a smart device with 3D scanning capabilities? Let us know what you use, and how well it’s been working! We’re about to dive in on a full-on 3D scan-to-print universe, and the reviews are coming!