Oculus Head of Dev Rel Leaves for Niantic to Ramp up Lightship Leave a comment

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Niantic announced today that long-time Oculus employee Dan Morris, Head of Developer Relations, is joining as the company’s new Director of Developer Relations as Niantic ramps up its Lightship AR platform, which aims to bring to third-party developers the same ‘world scale’ tech that enables Pokémon Go.

Dan Morris has been at Oculus since 2015, spending four years at the Head of Store, and another two years as the Head of Developer Relations, according to his LinkedIn profile. Niantic announced today that he’s moving to the company to take on the role of Director of Developer Relations.

Dan Morris | Image courtesy Niantic

“There’s no other job in the world that I would have left for but this one,” he said, according to the company’s announcement.

Morris will largely be focused on interfacing with developers who are using Niantic’s Lightship ARDK, a platform of capabilities which gives third-party developers access to the kinds of tools that make Pokémon Go’s ‘world-scale’ gameplay possible.

“This is a planet-sized opportunity for thousands of developers, given the size of the global smartphone installed base. Apps built with Lightship are going to change the world, and I’m really eager to get developers underway on their journey,” said Morris.

Lightship will be about more than just the geo-location functionality of Pokémon Go, however. The company is positioning the platform to support a full range of immersive AR capabilities, with the underlying map forming a shared foundation which will allow users in the same space to have multiplayer experiences. Lightship is currently in a private beta phase.

Beyond Niantic’s AR platform, the company is teasing AR hardware and software of its own. Earlier this year Niantic showed a prototype of Pokémon Go with immersive AR, multiplayer functionality running on HoloLens 2. Not long later, the company was teasing its own AR glasses. Though neither project has seen a formal product announcement yet.

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