Whereas Fb and Microsoft consider future interactions, and transactions, will happen within the metaverse — a wholly digital world the place individuals exist as avatars in digital actuality (VR) — Niantic founder John Hanke has been pursuing a “real-world metaverse”, utilizing augmented actuality (AR) to encourage individuals to discover their precise environment.

Spun out of Google in 2015, the place Hanke had led the Google Earth mapping undertaking, Niantic demonstrated the potential for AR know-how by launching the worldwide hit sport, Pokémon Go, in collaboration with The Pokémon Firm and Nintendo.

Now, Niantic is creating an AR map of the world by amassing knowledge and scans from hundreds of thousands of customers. Right here, Hanke tells FT know-how reporter Cristina Criddle why he desires to reinforce the actual world, relatively than create an artificial one.

Cristina Criddle: You speak loads about constructing the real-world metaverse — are you continue to specializing in that, and may you clarify what that appears like?

John Hanke: Sure . . . I feel that the transition to spatial computing is a kind of massive, elementary modifications. It’s just like the web, or cellular smartphones . . . we noticed firms are available with merchandise and fail just a few occasions earlier than this stuff turned what they’re at this time: basically a part of our lives. I feel AR and spatial computing are on that very same trajectory.

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