Niantic will be adding a new, immersive way for players to enjoy their Pokémon in AR with a new feature called ‘reality blending’.
Reality blending adds a new layer of realism to photo players take with their Pokémon. Players will soon find their Pokémon able to blend in with the environment.
Soon, real-world objects will be able to obscure parts of, or completely hide, a player’s Pokémon. This makes the creatures’ interactions in real-world more realistic, and enjoyable, for players.
Niantic has actually teased this feature way back in June 2018 with a video:
As mentioned in the video, this AR technique uses occlusion technology to allow the Pokémon to move about like that.
To properly explain how it works, it utilises a smartphone’s hardware and software features to map out an environment.
This allows the AR to understand the shape and depth of real-world objects. In turn, this makes it possible for Pokémon to move about as if they were actually there.
Unfortunately, the smartphone does have to have powerful specs, so it seems this feature is limited to mostly flagship smartphones. Well, maybe a handful of ‘upper’ mid-range smartphones, too.
Whether it’ll look as realistic as advertised remains to be seen, but at the moment…
… I wouldn’t say it’s mind-blowing, or anything.
The feature is currently doing limited tests with a handful of select players using Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3, and Google Pixel 4. It’ll eventually start rolling out for other users as well.
Apart from reality blending, Niantic also intends to do 3D mapping for current PokéStops and Gyms.
Once lockdown orders ease, players can help Niantic by recording videos (up to 30 seconds) of a location at different angles.
The end result would be a 3D map of the respective PokéStop or Gym, which players can view in-game.
Niantic assures it won’t collect or store any personal data. It also won’t be tied to specific player accounts.
At the end of the day, it’s all up to how much players want to contribute.