6D.ai Joins Niantic Making A Major Step Toward Building The AR Cloud
Today, Niantic announced the acquisition of 6D.ai — an exciting day for our team and the AR community overall.
We are extremely proud to join Niantic after three years of taking on the most difficult computer vision software problems so that AR experiences could realistically interact with the physical and digital worlds. When Victor and I first started 6D.ai, our mission was to solve the hardest computer vision software problems preventing developers from building engaging AR applications — to build API’s for the AR Cloud. Within just a few years, we were able to build a platform that served up 3D persistent maps to thousands of developers and some of today’s Fortune 500 companies, creating a digital understanding of the world with just a smartphone camera. Now joining Niantic will provide us more reach, strengthen our resources, and bring together some of the best minds in both AR software development and research. The combination of our teams is a major step for the AR industry as we get even closer toward building the 3D map of the world.
Funnily enough, just as we were starting 6D.ai, Victor and I were introduced to John and his team to discuss potentially working together towards goals we realized we both shared. It’s incredible how much similarity there is between both companies’ visions for the AR Cloud, values around data privacy and culture as well as our technical approach toward building the 3D map of the world. Back in March of 2018, I shared a post about our goals and why we started 6D.ai. I flagged at the end the next major platform shift (driven by AR), will take longer than we would like, will require significant capital, wisdom and some luck to thread the needle in the market. Today, I’d add that there is something even more important than those challenges. For AR to truly become the next platform that all apps run on, it needs to be built by a trustworthy, independent player with a business model that centers around the needs of developers and with core values that are built around the needs of the end user. After years of working with developers, businesses and artists alike, the need for an independent player in AR has never been more essential.
Niantic is that leader. The team has built an AR company that is defining the AR market. Niantic understands better than anyone the use-cases that drive people to engage with the real world at scale. It is set up to take on these challenges and deliver the AR software needed to make the 3D map of the world. The company’s roots were founded in building interactive and 3D maps, it is the leader in creating compelling content used by millions across the globe and its team puts data privacy and social impact as top priorities. There couldn’t be a better team for 6D to join in its mission from both a technical and cultural perspective. This is just the beginning of making our vision for the AR Cloud a reality.
Our team will continue to be laser focused on building the 3D map of the world and finding the best way to bring those tools to the developer community so that everyone can benefit from the potential of AR. We want to send a sincere thank you to all the early developers who dove into our SDK, gave feedback, posted demo videos and even launched apps — it was truly incredible to see all of your great work and watch our technology come to life. In order to focus on merging our technology into Niantic’s global-scale mapping and AR platform, we will be winding down our current developer tools over the next 30 days, and will shift focus to how we can help developers build realistic AR applications through the Niantic Real World Platform.
When Victor and I first started 6D.ai, we set out to build the defining AR software company and that vision will continue on at Niantic. We brought on incredible talent to help make that possible and we have been so honored to work alongside that team. I would like to thank all of our employees, customers, developers and investors for the support over the years. We look forward to sharing the exciting work we have ahead within Niantic.