Pokemon Go is getting reality-blending updates in June

Pokemon will hide behind real objects, and you'll be able to scan real-life locations into the game. Here are the phones it will work with.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein

Pokemon will start hiding behind objects pretty soon.

Pokemon Go/Screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Pokemon Go game developer Niantic on Tuesday announced some updates to the mobile game, which has been around since 2016 and still going strong. Niantic is experimenting with some graphical enhancements, it said in a blog post, that will enable Pokemon to run behind real world objects -- a technology called occlusion. 

The first phones that will allow the experimental beta update to work will be the Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S10 and Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 4, starting in June.

A demo video showing Pokemon Go characters running behind real objects was teased way back in 2018.

Pokemon Go is also getting a June update allowing Level 40 and higher players to scan their local Pokestops into the game, uploading data to improve the game's world-mapping. It's similar to a feature Niantic already has in its game Ingress, called Portal Scanning.

Niantic is working on a pair of AR smartglasses with Qualcomm, and recently acquired reality-mapping software company 6D.ai. Both of these updates seem like steps along the way to improving AR tools for future products, including glasses.

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