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Niantic

is a software development company best known for developing the augmented reality mobile games Ingress and Pokémon GO. It was formed by Keyhole, Inc. founder John Hanke... read more

Games Pokémon GO...
Founder
John Hanke
Founding date
2010
Address
City: San Francisco
Country: United States
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Updated
8/2/2016 5:35:58 PM
Niantic

is a software development company best known for developing the augmented reality mobile games Ingress and Pokémon GO. It was formed by Keyhole, Inc. founder John Hanke in 2010 as Niantic Labs, an internal startup at Google. It spun out of Google as an independent entity in October 2015, soon after Google's announcement of its restructuring as Alphabet Inc.

Description

Niantic's systems utilize high throughput real-time geospatial querying and indexing techniques to process more than 200 million game actions per day as people interact with real and virtual objects in the physical world.

History

The company takes its name from the whaling vessel Niantic, which came to San Francisco during the California Gold Rush. The fictional in-game investigative project that provides the narrative premise for Ingress is similarly named The Niantic Project.

Niantic's first product, published in 2012, was Field Trip, a location-based mobile app which acts as your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you. Their first augmented reality mobile game Ingress followed in November 2012 as an invite-only Android app. It was opened to the public in October 2013 and an iOS version was released in July 2014. Niantic's next announced mobile game, Endgame, "is" (unreleased) a transmedia storytelling project consisting of an alternate reality game, Endgame: Ancient Truth, novels by James Frey starting with Endgame: The Calling, and the mobile app, Endgame: Proving Ground.

Initially, Niantic had taken an alternative approach to monetization, veering away from more traditional mobile application development standards such as ad placements and in-app purchases. However, following the split with Google in 2015, in-app purchasing was implemented for Ingress. Founder and CEO John Hanke has noted that Ingress is a sort of proof of concept, adding that a next step could involve packaging application programming interfaces (APIs) from the Ingressapplication in order to entice developers. Existing partners, marketed through the narrative of Ingress rather than direct marketing techniques, include Hint Water, Vodafone, Motorola, AXA, SoftBank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Lawson (store) and Ito En.

In September 2015, it was announced that Niantic is co-developing Pokémon GO with Nintendo and The Pokémon Company for iOS and Android. The following month, Niantic announced Google, Nintendo, and The Pokémon Company would invest $30 million ($20 million upfront with an additional $10 million conditioned upon the company achieving certain milestones) in it to support the growth of the company and its products. In February 2016, Niantic announced that it secured an additional $5 million in Series A funding including investment from venture capital firms Alsop Louie Partners and You & Mr. Jones Brandtech Ventures as well as angel investors Lucas Nealan, Cyan Banister and Scott Banister. While adding more support for the growth of the company, this investment enabled Niantic to bring in strategic industry pioneers including the addition ofGilman Louie to its board.

On July 6, 2016, Pokémon GO was released in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, with a small wearable device developed by Nintendo, which uses a Bluetooth low energy connection to notify users when a Pokémon is nearby with an LED and vibration, hinted to be released later in the month. A release in Europe is planned, but was postponed after the initial launch overwhelmed the servers.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Niantic, Inc., which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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