Orient Your AR App in a 3D World with Scanning

image of How to Orient Your AR App
How to Orient Your AR App

Last summer Niantic hosted day one of the first-ever Lightship Summit, a two day conference for their global community of AR developers. At the Summit, they opened the Lightship Visual Positioning System (VPS) to developers everywhere, with more than 30,000 VPS-activated public locations immediately available and a new app for developers to quickly add their own locations to their dynamic AR map of the world. Niantic gave attendees hands-on experience with VPS which allows you to orient your AR app in 3D space at over 30,000 locations in the world.

From the Niantic blog.

We also previewed Campfire, a social application for the real-world metaverse that weaves together our games and helps players discover new people, places and experiences. 8th Wall, the world’s leading WebAR development platform, announced a new pricing tier specially for creators, and Niantic Ventures announced its first two investments in TRIPP and PIXELYNX.

Today marked an important step as we build the future of spatial computing together as a community. Learn more about each of Niantic’s Summit announcements below, and stay tuned for Day Two!


Lightship VPS is the visual positioning system for our Lightship platform. With Lightship VPS, developers now have the power to determine the position and orientation of their user and anchor AR content with centimeter-level precision.

These two features, known as “localization” and “persistence,” are the keys to real world immersive AR. Developers today want to make more immersive real-world experiences with content anchored to the world around them. But to do so, they have to first understand exactly where their users are.

Lightship VPS answers that fundamental question by determining not only where users are in the world, but what their orientation is at the moment they start an experience and as they move within it.

How Lightship VPS Works

Before VPS could localize users, we first had to build a new kind of map — one built specifically for AR.

To build this map, we collected scans (short video snippets) of real-world locations from Niantic developers, surveyors, and players. We then processed these data to construct our AR map of the world. Once a location is sufficiently scanned, we’re able to activate it on Lightship VPS, and it becomes available for developers to build real-world AR experiences.

People can then head to these VPS-activated locations and quickly localize their devices and interact with persistent AR content. With only a single image frame from the end user’s camera, Lightship VPS swiftly and accurately determines a user’s precise, six-dimensional location.

For the complete article on how to orient your AR app CLICK HERE.

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