Facebook gets competition: new social platform “Campfire”

“Pokémon Go” fans can be happy. The developer of the smartphone game now also opens up its own social platform.

San Francisco (dpa)-“Pokémon Go” was a great success. Now the makers of the smartphone game are trying with a social network and competing against the platform giant “Facebook”. The users of the “Pokémon Go” app can get in touch with other players on the new “Campfire” platform and agree on events, the developer company Niantic said.

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While the service will initially be available for the games developed at Niantic, developers who put their apps on Niantics Technology platform will later benefit. The “Pokémon Go” launched in 2016, in which players chase small-animated monsters with their smartphone, fueled the boom in apps that integrate digital content into real environments on the screen. One speaks of “extended reality” (Augmented Reality, AR).

Niantic boss John Hanke sees the technology as an alternative to the concept of a virtual “meta-verse” world of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. “We want to use technology to add some magic to the world,” said Hanke. “We don’t want to stand in our way, the world is a pretty cool place.” Hanke hopes strongly for AR glasses, in which digital content is displayed directly into the user focus. Instagram also belongs to Meta.

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The in-house AR technology expands Niantic with the ability to precisely determine the position of a user in one place to the centimeter. This is made possible by scans of the environments and 3D models, so that the camera can recognize where the smartphone is currently. With the technology, displayed digital objects are to be adapted more precisely to the environment and interact with it.

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Virtual objects can also be displayed in the apps for several users at exactly the same location. The function is initially available in places in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, London and Tokyo and is to be expanded to more than 100 cities worldwide by the end of the year (more about digital at platform).

Category list: © Sophia Kembowski/dpa/dpa-tmn/archive picture

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