Pokémon Go creator Niantic Labs says its augmented reality multiplayer feature, Buddy Adventure, is coming “very soon” to the iOS and Android versions of the mobile game. Buddy Adventure was first shown off last month at a press event, and it allows players to use the existing buddy system in Pokémon Go to bring a more realistic version of their favorite pokémon into the real world using more sophisticated AR technology.
Niantic’s says Buddy Adventure takes advantage of Pokémon Go’s existing AR+ mode, which launched first in 2017. AR+ taps into Apple and Google’s respective AR platforms to access more detailed depth maps and other data necessary to create advanced AR visualizations. Once it’s active, you’ll be able to see your buddy pokémon more realistically blended with the real world where you can then interact with it and feed it snacks to earn special perks that help the pokémon grow over time.
“Each Pokémon has different quirks and ways to express itself. Watch closely to see a diverse range of movements and expressions, whether you and your buddy are playing together or exploring the world around you,” the company said in a blog post. “Along with feeding your buddy, you can also play with it. Watch what your buddy does when you interact with it in AR+ mode. Different Pokémon react in different ways.”
Niantic is also bringing a tiered level feature to its buddy system that lets you build a relationship with a pokémon through feeding it and playing with it in AR+ mode. Higher levels unlock better perks as your buddy pokémon’s mood improves.
Soon, Niantic says you’ll also be able to use its so-called Shared AR Experience mode, which is the multiplayer component of Biddy Adventure. That will let two players exist in the same shared AR world, meaning you’ll be able to see a friend’s buddy pokémon, interact with it, and also take photos with all four of you in the same frame. The multiplayer component is launching at a later date after the initial launch of Buddy Adventure sometime in early 2020.
Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries
Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.
Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver
EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.
Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.
South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.
($1 = 1,117.7000 won)
(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum
The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.
Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.
Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.
The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.
The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.
Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.
In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.
Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.
Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.
In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.
Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.
The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.
($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)