“Pokémon Go” developer Niantic and non-profit the Knight Foundation are launching a six-month initiative to bring the studio’s augmented reality technology to local communities, Niantic announced on Thursday.
The Niantic/Knight Fellows Program’s first five members will work on projects that utilize Niantic tech to address community issues while promoting resident engagement. For example, Roger Riddle from Akron, Ohio., integrated “Pokémon Go” into two local events last week — the PorchRokr Music & Art Festival and In the 330. During each event, Riddle and his team set up temporary in-game locations and passed out fliers. They attracted 1,000 players and encouraged them to explore some of Akron’s historic neighborhoods, Niantic said.
On Sept. 30, Ming-Chun Lee from Charlotte, N.C., will bring “Pokémon Go” to the city’s Open Streets 704 event, while Joey Allen from Macon, Ga., will do the same at an Open Streets event in that city.
The other two fellows are Christopher Foreman of Philadelphia and Collin Fraum of Palm Beach, Fla. Niantic hasn’t released details on their projects yet.
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“The Niantic/Knight Fellows Program is an exciting part of Niantic and Knight Foundation’s efforts to harness the power of technology to spark public life in communities,” the developer said. “We are eager to see the impact of each fellow’s projects, to share lessons learned, and to continue exploring innovative and immersive strategies that strengthen communities.”