San Francisco-based 6D.ai is preparing to launch a beta of its AR cloud platform that's capable of constructing a real-time dense mesh from crowdsourced data for use in 3D mapping and multi-user AR experiences.
The technology captures environmental data from a smartphone's camera while operating in the background. According to CEO and co-founder Matt Miesnieks, the platform is "as good or better, to the limits of the underlying 6DoF tracker," in terms of accuracy compared to devices with depth sensors, such as the HoloLens, the Occipital Structure Sensor, or Google Tango devices.
This includes utilizing some combination of localization beyond GPS, using anything from geographic coordinates to computer vision to create a digital copy of the world that can be accessed by anyone. The AR cloud enables greater accuracy and shared location context for anchoring content, which can better facilitate location-based AR experiences like navigation or multiplayer gaming.
An interview with TechCrunch on Tuesday served as the company's coming-out party. However, Miesnieks, who formerly worked on AR at Samsung and is currently a partner at AR venture capital firm Super Ventures, has written extensively about the problems developers face in creating multiplayer AR experiences and shared environments.
"My personal belief is that useful apps can be built on today's ARKit, but they will only be useful to some people, occasionally," he wrote in Sept. 2017. "But these aren't the essential daily-use apps that define a new platform. For that we need AR-native apps. Apps that are truly connected to the real-world. And to connect our AR apps to each other and the world, we need the infrastructure in place to do that. We need the AR cloud."
Miesnieks promises more information on the company in the coming weeks, so we'll continue to follow this story.