Pokémon Go, reality blending, PokéStop scanning Niantic update

Pokémon GO has come a long way since launch, with new features every few months. In fact, Niantic was swift to alter the game to make it easier for people to play during the global pandemic. Some of the planned upcoming additions are set to bring the ARG a little closer to reality with plans for “Reality Blending” and PokéStop scanning.

Reality Blending in Pokémon GO

As Niantic explains, Reality Blending will help make AR functions more realistic. Currently, when you view the game through the AR+ function, it approximates where your monster is to overlay it onto the camera feed. With Reality Blending, however, it will be much more sophisticated, accounting for things like trees and couches.

Reality Blending will be given to random Pokémon GO players and for now will only run on Android devices with certain greater AR capabilities. It’s starting with the Samsung Galaxy S9, Samsung Galaxy S10, Google Pixel 3, and Google Pixel 4 phones and hopes to refine it to work for more players.

PokéStop scanning

The other Pokémon GO feature announced today is PokéStop scanning, which aims to make visiting stops much more exciting. Using photos and videos, Niantic wants to make 3D maps of the landmarks we go to for free in-game resources. This will help with the AR functionality of Pokémon GO. Trainers will be able to submit short (under 30-second) videos to help out with this if they choose.

The dev team also addressed privacy concerns and is promising to blur “potentially recognizable objects like faces or license plates” during the upload process. PokéStop Scan will first be available to level 40 trainers in early June and then roll out further by level.

Reality Blending and PokéStop scanning are two interesting features that aim to improve the immersion of Pokémon GO and possibly other Niantic games in the future. The latter is even used in Ingress to great effect. We’re coming up on the game’s fourth anniversary, so it’s great to see that the developer is still treating it with such love and care.


Dominick Ashtear

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