Last week at AWE, Niantic invited Puttscape Founders Dana Snell and Michael Dykier to present their vision of the future of location based AR Mini golf with their platform called Puttscape. In Puttscape's booth, expo-goers were given a glimpse of true AR gameplay with physical mini golf ball shots interacting in realtime with AR characters and content. With each shot players potentially vanquish enemies with explosions, knock over barrels, stir up seagulls, and eventually sink a ship full of pirate enemies to save the governor's daughter.
“Puttscape is pushing the envelope for location based entertainment by leveraging our (Niantic's) VPS technology and combining it with their own ball tracking IoT system to augment mini-golf experiences at physical courses”
-Fil Iliescu, Niantic Head of Lightship Developer adoption
Other AR SDK and headset companies are interested in supporting Puttscape. Qualcomm invited them to participate in Snapdragon Spaces development platform.
In 2019, DAS Labs CEO Michael Dykier met Dana Snell, an owner operator of a college town mini golf bar, in old town Fort Collins, CO. Dana had a vision of adding virtual game modes and themes to his 9 hole mini golf course to increase replayability, without taking away from the fun of actual mini golf gameplay. Michael had experience working on other realtime object tracking and AR projects and loved the idea of enhancing a game that is already fun, in a bar (i.e. social) environment.
Since 2019, DAS Labs has worked with Puttscape through several iterations, trying to achieve low latency and stable ball tracking, in a way that could be ported over to AR/MR headsets and glasses, without disrupting SLAM world tracking.
“The potential for this technology is so exciting. We are starting with mini golf, but plan on expanding to other activities/games where we can add virtual content to interact with physical equipment.”
-Dana Snell, Puttscape CEO
On the heels of Apple's Vision Pro announcement, Puttscape is ramping up to migrate to any AR/MR glasses that grant developer access to device color video feed(s) and to Puttscape's external sensor suite.
The technology was created in partnership with DAS Labs, a leading innovator and developer of augmented reality software.
About Puttscape: Puttscape is an AR gaming platform that brings augmented reality content to the world of mini golf, creating a completely new gamification experience like never before. Seamlessly merging the physical and digital worlds with the use of patent pending tracking technology and the same AR and mapping tools used to power some of Niantic’s most popular games.