Niantic demonstrated a proof-of-concept vision today at Microsoft Ignite, showing what Microsoft Mesh could do with Pokemon GO. Microsoft Mesh is a new platform built on Azure that allows developers to connect users with a wide variety of devices and technologies, including AR and VR, on PCs, smartphones, tablets, and mixed-reality headsets. As Pokemon GO is a quintessential shared gaming experience, it seemed only natural to see Niantic appear when Microsoft made their first push for Mesh.
The actual Mesh-enabled Pokemon GO is a long way away. Microsoft and Niantic made it especially clear today that they DO NOT have a consumer product ready, and that the demo they showed today is not a representation of the game as it may or may not exist in the future. What we saw seemed pretty spectacular.
Above you’ll see the demonstration made by Niantic during Microsoft Ignite 2021. Start at around the 1-minute mark for the Niantic content. UPDATE: See below for the whole video from Niantic.
What’s clear here is the speed at which the system works, and the limitations therein. It’ll be a while before we’re able to work with Pokemon GO with any sort of full-fledged game-ready action. For now, it looks a bit more like an extension of the Buddy Pokemon system and the already-active shared augmented reality photo system in the game now – which is pretty neat!
John Hanke, CEO and founder of Niantic, suggested that Microsoft Mesh allows users “a whole new way” of allowing Niantic to achieve the goals they’ve set for their games. Their mission is to “create technologies that allow people to socialize and explore the world together.”
“This notion of bringing my virtual friends along with me as I go out and walk and explore the world,” said Hanke, “I just love that concept and I’m really interested to see what we can do with that.”