Softbank-backed Mapbox launches location-based augmented reality platform

Toolset designed to enable developers to create Pokemon-Go like experiences

Softbank-backed Mapbox launches location-based augmented reality platform

Softbank-backed development tools firm Mapbox has launched a brand new augmented reality platform called Mapbox AR to power location-based experiences.

The toolkit combines AR rendering software with the company’s own location platform to help developers create titles akin to that of Niantic’s Pokemon Go.

The Mapbox location platform provides users with a global map and real-time traffic and navigation reports, and it's used by more than one million registered developers. The firm's SDKs are used by companies including Snap, Lonely Planet and more.

Augmented world

Combined with AR, the new platform enables multi-user and multiplayer support, letting users interact in real-time.

Mapbox AR provides live location information from anonymised place visit data, aggregated from over 300 million users a month. It’s built with over 125 million points of interest from a world atlas of locations and categories, using sources such as FourSquare to build up its maps.

Mapbox AR also features optimised location data layers, high-res terrain data and satellite imagery, 3D digital elevation models and more.

“AR isn’t just a catchy trend in Silicon Valley, the future of how we experience the world around us is going to change with the applications developers are building in AR today,” said Mapbox CEO Eric Gundersen.

“We want to provide the best possible tools for joining augmented experiences to the world around us. As the first platform to provide true global reality-grade data, we cannot wait to see what developers build and are excited to help accelerate the transition from static maps to entirely new experiences.”

Mapbox AR is the latest tool from the US company, which raised some $164 million in investment from Japanese telecoms giant Softbank last year.

Visit the Mapbox AR website for more details.

Staff Writer