Lightship ARDK
The Lightship AR Developer Kit brings real-time mapping technology together with shared multiplayer experiences, semantics and depth for more realistic AR experiences. ARDK is made for developing AR experiences for both Android and iOS mobile platforms – and integrates directly within Unity.
Real-Time Mapping

Create persistent and realistic experiences. ARDK’s meshing feature translates the colors produced by the user’s camera, runs them through a neural network, and builds a mesh of tessellated triangles that create a machine-readable representation of the physical world. With this feature, your app will have a persistent and real-time map to create realistic AR interactions. For example, you can enable “physics” where a user can throw a ball and have it bounce off a wall and roll off of a table.

Meshing works best at 5-10 meter range, therefore, is not meant for large scale AR experiences–improvements to meshing range, latency, resolution, and stability to come in future releases. Recommended for iPhone 8 and above, and high-end Android devices released since 2018.

Unlock a world of powerful, social use cases for your app. From gaming to treasure hunts, multiplayer lets AR experiences shift from single user play to multi-user, social sessions. Peer-to-peer messaging with a provided server and back-end as well as some other handy server-side features are built in (e.g., synchronized clock and a session-persistent, last-write wins database).

Although 8 players is the maximum, optimal multiplayer experiences are shared between 2-3 users over a 1-5 minute session due to processing requirements.
Semantic Segmentation

Create AR experiences without having to be a computer vision or distributed systems expert. Lightship classifies outdoor natural objects that a user scans (like the ground and sky), enabling AR content interactions on or with specific surfaces. For example, using ‘sky’ segmentation you can create an experience where large AR objects are displayed on the horizon, properly occluded by buildings, trees, and other ground objects.

Current segmentation includes sky, ground, artificial ground, water, buildings, and foliage (more coming soon). Recommended for iPhone 8 and above, and high-end Android devices released since 2018.
Dive Deeper into Lightship ARDK

Discover the upcoming additions to the Niantic Lightship ARDK - including new features, services, and improvements, along with enhanced developer experiences.


We developed the Lightship ARDK platform pricing to be as simple as possible so you can start creating compelling AR experiences right from the start.


New to the ARDK? We have created resources to help you learn about the ARDK, set up your development environment, walk through a quick getting started example, and review sample code.

Discover Lightship Demos