Augmented reality is a little hit a miss at the best of times, and its inclusion in the likes of Pokémon GO can sometimes provide varying results depending on the user's device. For some, it can cause their game to crash, and for others, it simply doesn't work at all, but even when running perfectly it can still leave a lot to be desired.
In the first half of this video below, GO developer Niantic has shown a clear example of this. As you can see, the AR Pikachu is (kind of) running around in a real-life space, but every time it runs right through a person you become painfully aware that this is just a quirky piece of software doing its thing. The second half of the video, however, shows off something that Niantic has been working on behind the scenes - and it's definitely a lot better than we've seen previously.
The footage forms a new Niantic tech demo, currently called Codename: Niantic Occlusion. In it, you can clearly see that the Pokémon characters dodge and dash around real-life objects, even as they move. Here's what Niantic has said about this new tech:
"The recently acquired Matrix Mill team at Niantic has spent years building and perfecting deep neural networks that can infer information about the surrounding world from one or more cameras. This technology redefines how machines see and understand the 3D world and more importantly, how digital objects can interact with the real elements of it..."
"In the above AR experience of Codename: Niantic Occlusion, you can see Pikachu and Eevee weaving through and around different objects in the real world, dodging feet and hiding behind planters. This level of integration into the environment around us is a proof-of-concept that excites us about the future of AR."
Whether Niantic actually plans to implement this into Pokémon GO, or maybe even use it for new, different projects, is currently unclear. It certainly seems that way, though, potentially being the start of a much-improved AR experience within the monster-catching mobile phenomenon.
Do you like augmented reality? Would you like to see Pokémon GO's use of the technology be improved? Let us know with a comment below.