Niantic continues to push forward in its quest to build a 3D map of the world.
This morning the company announced that it has acquired Scaniverse, an iPhone/iPad app for scanning objects and environments in high-resolution 3D.
A rep for Niantic tells me that Scaniverse will remain on the App Store, with plans to continue supporting it as a standalone app. Features previously limited to a $17-per-year "Pro" subscription, including higher-resolution processing and support for exporting models to other 3D software, will now be free.
As I first wrote about years ago, one of Niantic's goals is to build a detailed and endlessly-evolving 3D map of the world — a step they see as fundamental to enabling true, rich augmented reality experiences if/when the world ever embraces something like AR glasses. It's a rather massive (and never-ending) task, but one made a bit more feasible by way of its ever-roaming player base across games like Pokémon GO, Harry Potter Wizards Unite and Ingress.
As part of the deal, Scaniverse creator Keith Ito will be joining Niantic's AR team. The company declined to outline any other terms of the acquisition. This is Niantic's latest acquisition in the 3D mapping space, having acquired 6D.ai for an undisclosed sum in early 2020.
For context, here's a demo of the Scaniverse app doing its thing: