Pokémon GO creator Niantic announced on Thursday that it has acquired WebAR development platform 8th Wall. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Niantic said the deal is its largest acquisition to date.
Stating that the acquisition will expand the AR opportunity for developers and brands with web-based tools to create experiences that work on mobile devices without requiring apps, Niantic says it now offers one of the most complete sets of AR tools for building a real-world metaverse.
“From the beginning, Niantic set out to build AR technology that enables people to connect to others, discover new places, and play with friends in the real world. To make this happen, we’re fusing the physical and the digital by creating the world’s most precise 3D map of the planet. With our Lightship platform, launched globally in November last year, we’re offering all developers the world’s largest immersive canvas to bring their creations to life on a massive scale. 8th Wall, which is our largest acquisition to date, greatly complements our vision for Lightship, and we plan to expand our developer platform tools with their proven WebAR technology,” Niantic said in a blog post.
Niantic says 8th Wall currently supports 5 billion smartphones across iOS and Android, as well as billions of devices worldwide, including computers and AR/VR headsets. “Since 2018, the 8th Wall WebAR development platform has been used by developers to create over 50,000 experiences, including thousands for top-tier brands.” the company says.
“We started 8th Wall to build powerful computer vision technology that would enable developers to create AR applications that could run everywhere seamlessly. We did this with a complete set of tools to create WebAR. There is so much potential for web-based augmented reality and we will continue to unlock this through the lens of Niantic’s real-world AR universe. We are looking forward to working with Niantic to create the best planet-scale platform technologies to foster even more magical shared experiences,” said Erik Murphy-Chutorian, CEO and Founder of 8th Wall, in a blog post.