Niantic: Ultra Low Latency Gaming

Niantic Labs is an American software development company based in San Francisco, that originally began as an internal startup within Google and became an independent company in 2015. Niantic’s initial and enduring mission has been to move video gaming into the real world, encouraging gamers to get out of a dark room and be more social. They turned that lofty goal into commercial success with the introduction of Pokemon Go in 2016, a blockbuster success by any measure (e.g., the fastest game to reach $1bn in revenue). The gaming and business worlds look-forward to the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

Early on in Pokemon Go, Niantic discovered the edge opportunity when they exceeded capacity of mobile infrastructure by gathering many gamers in a given location. Niantic also realizes that edge computing can contribute materially to game experiences by enabling each gamer to share their viewing experiences in a fully integrated way. Within this context, Niantic seeks and utilizes Edge enabled network services to eliminate latency, and more importantly, to harness the dynamic resource allocation needed and to manage the unprecedented scale that comes with simultaneous unlimited players engaging in “the next” MR experience.

The Problem

Gaming as an industry is massive, and when integrated with AR/VR/MR technologies, the experience enters a new level of immersion. As Niantic strives to push the limits of these experiences, they also push the requirements placed on the mobile networks that play an integral role in enabling delivery. While telecom network evolution is helping to address bandwidth issues, edge services play a vital role in solving Niantic’s needs around location integrity, game player scale and evolved immersion enhancements to come.

Pokemon Go has set the stage for Harry Potter, and the network infrastructure will have to rise to this challenge. Edge computing is an important part of performance  improvement and fulfilling the promise and expectation of these new experiences.

The Solution

As the leader in building real world platforms for augmented reality technology, Niantic will continue to look for and harness technologies that will help deliver on their vision. Through collaboration with MobiledgeX and the Edge ecosystem community, Niantic has leveraged ultra low latency Edge enabled networks to dynamically resolve scale, user assurance and edge compute needs in its jaw-dropping live demo, Codename: Neon.

Mobiledge X is proud to work with Niantic and the Edge community, and we believe this is a great example of how Edge resources can be harnessed to efficiently deliver new and current experiences. As gamer enthusiasts we will all benefit from these technologies, but let us not overlook the applicability of these critical functions across new and traditional industries.

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