Niantic recruits Oculus’ Dan Morris to run developer relations as it ramps third-party content

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Pokémon Go creator Niantic is gearing up to recruit more developers to its next-generation augmented reality tools utilizing its Niantic Lightship platform. And today it is revealing it has hired former Oculus leader Dan Morris to run developer relations.

Morris’ job is to aid recruit and train third-party game developers to the Lightship platform, previously referred to as the Niantic Real World Platform. Niantic Lightship is providing broader access to the new Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK), enabling developers to develop interactive and immersive AR applications.

Morris has spent the last six years in a related part recruiting developers to the Oculus virtual reality platform and assisting them developer their VR games and apps. A 20-year sector veteran, Morris will be director of developer relations at Niantic in San Francisco. The move suggests Niantic is critical about bringing aboard more outdoors developers to use its technologies, which has enabled games such as Pokemon Go, which generated $5 billion in 5 years. As smartphone carriers roll out their 5G networks, they want applications such as the type that Niantic is generating with AR games and apps to make use of these networks.

“There’s no other job in the world that I would have left for but this one,” Morris mentioned in an interview with GamesBeat. “I really admire what Niantic has been able to accomplish in AR, as they’re the seminal content company. When I heard that they were beginning to plan a platform that other developers can build on top of, I just thought that was an amazing idea. It’s a pretty incredible opportunity to be a part of it.”


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Niantic Lightship ARDK

Image Credit: Niantic

Niantic Lightship encompasses the complete Niantic platform, such as the suite of tools and services that energy Niantic games, from Ingress to Pokémon Go to the company’s partnership with Nintendo to bring the Pikmin universe to place-based and AR gaming. With Niantic Lightship, the enterprise desires to set the sector typical for mapping and shared, planetary-scale AR experiences.

Developers can sign up at to join the private beta of the Niantic Lightship ARDK, as nicely as to discover more about Niantic Publishing. Niantic launched the Niantic Lightship ARDK as a private alpha earlier this year for hundreds of gaming and non-gaming developers. They have engaged with the company’s engineering, solution development, and help teams to test the limits of what’s probable with the technologies.

“I’ve talked to a lot of developers who you love Niantic games and have lots of ideas about what they would do in a world where they could access the technology that powers Pokemon Go,” he mentioned. “I’ve been telling them in recent days here is the opportunity to not only share the idea with us but help us tweak our platform to suit their mission. In my experience, that’s a pivotally important moment of opportunity.”

Morris is reviewing the developer projects and working on the pipeline of applications for the Lightship ARDK private beta. He desires to get thousands of developers involved in the ARDK private beta at

Morris mentioned Lightship has more to come this year.

“The Lightship initiative is really meant for any developer in the world,” he mentioned. “It’s going to really scale up the opportunity to build on Niantic’s foundation.”

The ARDK has actual-time mapping via sophisticated meshing, which combines smartphone camera technologies with a neural network to map an atmosphere in actual time into a mesh of repeating tessellated triangles, resulting in a machine-readable representation of the physical world. In the Niantic Lightship ARDK, meshing tends to make “physics” probable for virtual objects.

The ARDK will weave collectively the foundational components of how Niantic puts out its games, and it will be accessible to all categories of app developers.

“What I’ll be doing is managing the two way conversation between Niantic, which is taking this opportunity out to developers, and then in the reverse direction, making sure that the SDKs is adapting and adding to meet the needs of those developers,” he mentioned. “We’ll do that together in the time ahead.”

Mapping the world

1627919707 622 Niantic recruits Oculus Dan Morris to run developer relations as

Image Credit: Niantic

In terms of mapping the world in 3D, Niantic’s method creates meshes utilizing the RGB colour sensors identified in most cameras, rather than requiring LiDAR scanners only accessible on some higher finish devices. The meshing technologies scans the atmosphere about a player, generating in actual time a 3D map that enables any Lightship platform expertise to location virtual content in the suitable physical location, combining context from the actual world atmosphere with the developer’s atmosphere. The history of Niantic’s method to meshing goes back to the earliest days of the enterprise and incorporates the work of acquisitions such as Matrix Mill and

The tech blends with phones that have LiDAR (laser-based sensors), such as iPhone 12 Pro models, enabling developers utilizing the Niantic Lightship ARDK to make dynamic maps for experiences. Kellee Santiago is now in charge of external publishing, exactly where Niantic will act for the publisher for other developers.

Morris was element of the Oculus group at Facebook Reality Labs, exactly where he worked closely with XR developers to make Oculus a prosperous platform for developers of all sorts. His prior experiences involve partnerships and tactic roles at DeNA/Ngmoco and Electronic Arts.

At Oculus, he was focused on assisting developers meet their ambitions, irrespective of whether it was income or other items. The hope is to develop a content ecosystem exactly where all developers can succeed. While Facebook and Oculus want to develop the metaverse, Niantic has its personal view that augmented reality and mobile devices will allow a type of metaverse on the go.

“I’ve learned working with developers for many years that it takes time to make something magical,” Morris mentioned. “The time to get started on that with us is now partly because there’s an opportunity in the months ahead to help us shape the ARDK.”

Good tips coming

Niantic's ARDK lets AR objects interact naturally with the real world.

Image Credit: Niantic

The ARDK is in closed beta testing now and the enterprise is working with pilot partners to boost it. It will be publicly released later this year.

“We’ll have lots more to say about the opportunity then,” he mentioned. “The timing is perfect for me because the beta SDK is already exciting. The developers who are working on it, and I’ve got great ideas. And for me now, looking ahead to the full release later this year and beyond into next year. The moment just seems ripe.”

You can anticipate to see items that are unique from what Niantic currently has in the marketplace.

“We’re excited about a number of use cases and a number of categories for the platform. I’m already seeing in our beta developers, quite a number of use cases and ideas that are, you know, spanning the gamut like retail, tourism, music, and cultural events.”

He also thinks social influence developers have a massive likelihood to make apps that reach some type of social very good.

“What they will all have in common is that they will be about people connecting out in the real world, which to me is the spine that runs through the whole strategy, Morris said.”

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz