Metaverse builders see virtual pets as their killer app

Metaverse builders see virtual pets as their killer app 81 1649931057350
A digital pet store could help sell the metaverse to the masses.

Why it matters: Hype and funding have swamped the development of the 3D Internet, but consumers will need help finding their way in.

Driving the news: Pokémon Go creator Niantic yesterday revealed its next game, an augmented reality pet simulator called Peridot.

  • In the new mobile game, players breed, feed, train, and even breed little colorful procedurally generated creatures.
  • Similar to Pokémon Go, the game uses a phone’s camera to make creatures visible on a real-world overlay, using augmented reality techniques.
  • Senior product manager and producer Ziah Fogel said Niantic’s location-based technology allows the pets in Peridot to recognize real-world obstacles and topography, such as the difference between grass and concrete.

Niantic, which was formed within Google years ago and spun off into its own private company, it has long seen itself as more than just a game developer, but a creator of real-world experiences enhanced with location-based data.

  • last august in a blog postNiantic CEO and founder John Hanke described what the company strove to create as a “real-world metaverse.”
  • He explained it as “one infused with data, information, services and interactive creations. This has guided our work to date, both in terms of our early attempts to incorporate these concepts into products like Field Trip, Ingress, and Pokémon Go, and in terms of inventing critical technology to enable them.”
  • Niantic wants to overlay the reams of data collected from satellites and players on the ground to build live, persistent maps of information that can be shared with anyone in real time.

The panorama: Virtual pets have long been a way to create curiosity and attract new users to platforms large and small.

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