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Niantic Developing Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure and Other AR Improvements

Gaming article by Robert N. Adams on November 7, 2019 at 7:35 AM
Release Date
July 6, 2016
Android, IOS
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Buddy Adventure Creates Shared Experiences

Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure is a brand new feature that's coming from Niantic. For the first time, players will be able to interact with their Pokemon via augmented reality — and their friends can watch it happen.

A blog post from Niantic details this new feature. Niantic has been experimenting with ways for multiple players on separate devices to interact with virtual objects across multiple devices. Now, they've announced that they're leveraging these experiments into a practical implementation for Pokemon Go.


The Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure feature will let you interact with your own Pokemon using the AR camera, but that's not all it does — it will also link up with your friends' devices and let them see you interacting with your 'mon as well. What's more, this is going to be a cross-platform feature. That is to say, if you're on Android and your best friend is on iOS, you'll still be able to use this feature together.

No firm date for the launch of Buddy Adventure has been set just yet, but Niantic did take the time to tell us about some more upcoming tech they're working on.


Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure AR Occlusion

Pokemon Go Buddy Adventure is Just the Start

Another key piece of tech Niantic has developed is occlusion. Simply put, occlusion is hiding an object. When it comes to AR, this can best be expressed through the image above: you would expect a virtual character to be concealed by the wall, but that just isn't possible today.


Now, Niantic has revealed the first steps in real-time AR occlusion in action. The feature uses your phone's computing power to detect objects and walls that should be hiding virtual characters and it makes the appropriate changes to those characters. As you can see from the image above, it will be as if they had disappeared behind an object.

The new occlusion feature will be coming to the Niantic Real World Platform, a sort of glue that links together their various games like IngressPokemon Go, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. This, in turn, means that the same tech would likely make its way into these games at some point in the future.

Niantic goes pretty in-depth about these new techs and other cool things they're working on, so be sure to check out the full blog post for all the fine details.

What do you think of the upcoming Pokemon GO Buddy Adventure feature? Does the inclusion of occlusion matter to you in AR games or are floating characters an acceptable break from reality? Let us know in the comments below!


About the Author

A photograph of Robert N Adams

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!