Scaniverse acquired by Niantic: what happens next

Niantic and the folks at Scaniverse made an announcement today: the former acquired the latter. Niantic is the company that created Pokemon GO and continues to expand its vision of a GPS-based, 3D-enabled ecosystem of maps and games. Scaniverse by Toolbox AI is a mobile 3D scanning app that is (for now) based on the iPhone’s 3D scanning capabilities with LiDAR.

It looks like Niantic is making it possible for Scaniverse to “make scanning across multiple operating systems easier and more accessible to the Niantic Explorer community.” Scaniverse will remain a standalone app, so that’s a good thing! As Niantic suggests, its “unique depth technology enables fast and accurate 3D location scanning using the standard RGB camera sensors available in most smartphones, as well as newer LiDAR-based phones.”

According to Niantic’s release this week, “the easier it is to scan, the faster it is to build a 3D map of the world.”

The Niantic side of the equation seems to be the 3D scanning of the locations, the part that creates the Lightship platform. Niantic wants users and creators to be able to capture high-quality scans “for more fun and engaging experiences.” Those experiences can be supported by Niantic “both as a publisher and for third-party apps” using Niantic’s Lightship platform.

Scaniverse founder and CEO Keith Ito will join Niantic’s AR engineering team. Niantic noted that this acquisition will expand the potential of Niantic’s “real-world game board for Niantic Explorers.”

Have you ever used your smartphone or tablet to scan an item or a location with the device’s rear-facing camera array? Do you have a smart device with 3D scanning capabilities? Let us know what you use and how well it’s been working! We’re about to dive into an entire universe of scanning to 3D printing, and the reviews are pouring in!