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  • Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the new augmented reality game from Niantic, the company that made Pokemon Go such a global phenomenon a few years ago.

  • Our wizarding community is at risk of exposure.

  • Traces of magic are appearing all over the Muggle world.

  • Niantic has pioneered a new kind of video game, one that combines the virtual world and the physical one.

  • Great!

  • I've rescued a small cat.

  • I've got one!

  • So it's a goblin.

  • You have to draw a squiggle on the screen to cast a spell accurately.

  • So there is somewhat degree of skill involved.

  • Whereas Pokemon Go sent people scurrying around cities in search of monsters, this time Harry Potter is recruiting wizards to go in search of fragments and magical artefacts.

  • Bringing some of Harry Potter's best-loved characters from the JK Rowling universe into the real world.

  • It's doing that with a combination of smartphones and sensors, with maps and location tracking, and with AR-powered cameras.

  • And then we go off hunting again.

  • Right.

  • Where's the next one?

  • Young Hogwarts students walking the streets.

  • Over the last couple of years, Apple and Google have built AR technology into hundreds of millions of smartphones.

  • And that's made it far easier for less technical companies, like IKEA or Nike, to build AR apps that let people try on a virtual sofa, or a virtual pair of trainers.

  • Baby hippogriff.

  • Not many of those to the dozen?

  • Augmented reality has become a top priority for Silicon Valley companies, including Apple, Snap, Microsoft, and Facebook.

  • Who are all hoping that one day smart glasses and ubiquitous computing might supersede the smartphone.

  • But so far no AR app has achieved the kind of worldwide impact that Pokemon Go did, and that was three years ago.

  • Maybe that could change with Harry Potter sprinkling a little bit of his magic to show the latest innovations in augmented reality.

  • Apps like Wizards Unite and Microsoft's forthcoming AR game Minecraft Earth provide a testbed for new technologies.

  • Such as computer vision and scene awareness.

  • So in the not too distant future, we could see characters like a goblin interacting with real objects around them by jumping on top of a lamp post, or climbing a tree.

  • Despite the billions of dollars that Silicon Valley is investing into augmented reality, it still isn't clear if this is a bold leap into a new dimension, or just a blind alley.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is the new augmented reality game from Niantic, the company that made Pokemon Go such a global phenomenon a few years ago.

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B2 UK FinancialTimes ar augmented reality augmented potter harry

How Harry Potter casts an augmented reality spell

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    Jessieeee posted on 2019/07/17
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