Are you ready for the Lightship Real-World AR Challenge?
Unlock the limitless possibilities of the real world made better with AR

Starting October 31st, we are challenging our developer community to create tomorrow’s reality powered by Lightship technology today. As we prepare for the public release of Lightship ARDK 3.0, we invite all developers to explore our newest release by joining the Lightship Real-World AR Challenge for a chance to win prizes worth over $8,500! These prizes will be rewarded in the following categories:

Immersive Learning

AR is a powerful tool for learning with its ability to transform the way audiences engage with arts, culture, and education. With AR, developers can create immersive experiences that provide meaningful context and allow users to be at the center of the learning journey. This idea is best displayed in the Kinfolk app, which brings the stories of underrepresented Black and Brown historical figures to life through AR. Whether it’s a gamified version of the solar system to teach scientific concepts or hands-on workplace safety training, learning is all around you with AR.

Lifestyle & Entertainment

At Niantic, we believe the best games allow you to have fun while exploring the world together. With Lightship, developers can use the same tools that power our most popular games to build a variety of lifestyle & entertainment apps. Powered by Lightship VPS, users can capture, upload, and share content to a location-based AR memory book with the lifecache app - a new way to collect memories.

We want developers to create AR apps that offer daily utility, from aiding in the kitchen to enhancing home sports experience. These types of practical applications are experiences that people will revisit again and again.

Health & Wellness

Can you imagine a world where people are healthier and happier with augmented reality? TRIPP is developing a full-scale AR version of their successful VR meditation app with MR pass-through capability. We want to see how you can use Contextual Awareness or Shared AR features to improve users’ physical and mental health.

Save the date!

We’re here to set you up for success with a complete program of supporting events! We will kick off the challenge on Tuesday, October 31st, with an info session by Dan Morris, Director of Developer Relations, who will share his vision for real-world AR. On Thursday, November 2nd, Mike Stein, UX Engineer at Niantic, will facilitate an ideation session to help developers design their projects and form teams. New to Lightship? On November 7th, Braxton Lancial, Developer Adoptions Manager, will lead a technical workshop for beginners on how to get started with ARDK 3.0. Finally, join us for a UX for AR presentation on November 14th. Throughout the rest of the competition, we’ve got you covered with 1:1 project consultations and developer support sessions so you can meet with our team and receive the help you need. Check out our full programming below and RSVP here!

All submissions are due by Monday, December 4th at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. You can stay updated and learn more about the challenge, including requirements, rules, and eligibility at We can’t wait to see what you build!

Published October 25, 2023
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