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Digital Catapult and Niantic AR programme



Date Posted: May 20, 2022

Niantic Labs, leading mobile games creators, have recently launched a new tool to build augmented reality (AR) experiences. Digital Catapult is teaming up with Niantic to deliver the Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit (ARDK) to immersive organisations in the UK. The toolkit lowers the barriers to entry for developers to create immersive augmented reality experiences and enables developers to bring virtual content into the real world.

The Digital Catapult and Niantic Lightship Augmented Reality Accelerator is looking for immersive developers to come up with creative concepts that solve the challenges set out by our industry partners.

The three individual challenges set by industry partners; Studio Wayne McGregor, Cartoon Network and Niantic, are looking for developers to create pitches that bring people together and enhance real-world experiences. Digital Catapult will deliver Niantic’s Lightship ARDK alongside up to £100,000 funding to the organisations with the most creative ideas.

The pitches should include an idea for a concept that uses the segmented semantics, mapping, and multiplayer capabilities of the Lightship Platform to create an AR experience.

The best ideas will be selected to take place in a pitching competition, after the pitching competition the three concepts that best respond to the industry challenges will be awarded up to £100,000 and technical support to develop a demonstrator on Niantic’s Lightship Platform. See below for more details about the industry-specific challenges.

Why get involved?

While other conceptions of the metaverse bring people into an online world, Niantic’s Lightship ARDK is using technology to bring people together outside, encouraging real-world connection rather than isolation. The AR accelerator programme launched by Niantic and Digital Catapult will not only encourage greater human connection but support UK start-ups to grow and develop new cutting-edge AR applications.

The organisations selected to participate in the programme will receive both technical expertise and business support from Digital Catapult and Niantic. The most creative pitches will receive up to £100,000 in funding to build their concept using the Lightship Augmented Reality Developer Kit.

What challenges is the programme looking to solve?

The Niantic Lightship Accelerator Programme will be selecting one organisation per challenge to build their concept. The selected organisation will work with technical experts at Niantic and Digital Catapult as well as the industry partners to bring the concept to life.

Who should apply?

This accelerator programme is looking for applications from startups, scaleups, creative studios and developers who:

  • Are currently working within the immersive experience or augmented reality space.
  • Are interested in or are already developing new augmented reality solutions and applications.
  • Are able to present concepts that inspire movement, exploration, and shared experiences.
  • Have the necessary skills required for their proposed project. Organisations will nominate someone with a technical background who will be interacting with a technologist throughout the programme.
  • Are committed to demonstrating the segmented semantics, mapping, and multiplayer elements of the experience to the public. Companies will be involved in a showcase event at the end of the programme.

Deadline: Sunday 19th June

Click HERE to apply.

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