Deutsche Telekom and Niantic team up on augmented reality for 5G

Deutsche Telekom and Niantic are working on a project to improve gaming experiences using edge compute and 5G. (Pixabay)

Deutsche Telekom is working with Niantic to create a better user experience for augmented gaming on mobile networks.

DT is kicking in its MobiledgeX edge servers and its nascent 5G network into the partnership, while Niantic is bringing its Real World augmented reality (AR) platform for gaming to the table.

Niantic, the creator of the augmented reality Pokémon GO game, will start to integrate its Real World Platform through MobiledgeX's APIs to demonstrate high-speed synchronous multiplayer AR interactions across a shared environment. The two companies said they would announce the results of their integration work at a later date.

In addition to using MobiledgeX's APIs and edge servers, Niatanic is looking to tap into the low latencies that Deutsche Telekom's 5G network offers in order to develop the full potential of its Real World Platform.

By putting its AR gaming closer to the edge through the creation of decentralized "cloudlets" by MobiledgeX, Niantic can better enable real-time mass multiplayer experiences and improved gaming visuals.

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“As a wildly successful company that creates uniquely collaborative gaming services, they (Niantic) recognize and are ready to harness the benefits of edge solutions today. Their needs of spatial understanding, real-time responsiveness and multi-player collaboration are a proxy for many other companies' use cases and edge dependent experiences,” said MobiledgeX President and CEO Jason Hoffman, in a prepared statement.

Augmented reality gaming at the edge is shaping up to be one of the more prominent use cases for 5G networks once those networks are rolled out on a wide scale next year. At last month's AT&T Spark conference in San Francisco, AT&T made the case for edge compute and gaming across its 5G network by showcasing a demo with Ericsson and NVIDIA.

According to a recent survey that was commissioned by the Linux Foundation and conducted by IHS Markit, gaming has the potential to be one of the top revenue-generating applications for edge services.