Getting Started with Lightship VPS

To develop an AR experience that uses Lightship VPS, you’ll need a Unity project that you’ve set up with the Lightship ARDK, as described in Getting Started with ARDK. Once you’ve got a Unity project set up with the ARDK, use the following steps to add Lightship VPS features to your app.

Understand VPS-activated Wayspots and Terminology

Lightship VPS uses several terms specific to Lightship VPS features, so you’ll want to make sure you understand concepts like VPS-activated Wayspots and Wayspot Anchors before you start developing with Lightship VPS features.

See Lightship VPS Concepts and Terminology for descriptions of Lightship VPS terms such as VPS-activated Wayspots.

Plan Out Which VPS-activated Wayspots You Need

Lightship VPS makes use of VPS-activated Wayspots, which are unique or notable, publicly accessible, real-world locations that can be localized with using Lightship VPS. You’ll want to validate your app with VPS-activated Wayspots, so you’ll need to plan out what VPS-activated Wayspots to use. For development and testing, you can create Private VPS Locations in your surrounding area to test with. Additionally, you might want additional public VPS-activated Wayspots. You’ll use the Niantic Wayfarer App mobile app for creating Private VPS Locations.

To visualize what VPS-activated Wayspots are available to you, you can use the Niantic Wayfarer app, or in the lightship.dev portal, on your Dashboard page, you can see current VPS-activated Wayspot coverage in the “VPS Coverage Map” map view.

When you propose new VPS-activated Wayspots or submit VPS-activated Wayspot scans to Niantic, it may take several days to process, so you’ll want to plan in advance for any new or updated VPS-activated Wayspots you’ll need. Private VPS Locations will be activated for you to use on Lightship VPS within 4 hours of your scan upload.

See Generating Scans for VPS for how to scan and submit information for a VPS-activated Wayspot or Private VPS location to Niantic. See Managing Private VPS Locations in the Developer Portal for more details on managing any Private VPS Locations you submit to Niantic.

Request Camera and Location Permissions in Your App

Lightship VPS uses the device camera and location service, so you’ll need to make sure your app has permissions to access these services. ARDK provides convenience classes for handling permission requests. See Permissions for more information.

Create and Set User IDs For Your App Users

Use of features such as VPS localization, the VPS Wayspot Anchors API, and the VPS Coverage API involves the collection of personal information from your end user. For more information, see the Lightship ARDK Data Privacy FAQ.

API requests for the VPS Coverage API and the VPS Wayspot Anchors API use a User ID to uniquely identify individual users of your app. You’ll need to generate this User ID and set it in the current ARDK configuration whenever the user of your app changes. If you can’t provide a User ID, VPS will use a Client ID. See Using ARDK User IDs for more information on User IDs and Client IDs.

Use VPS Coverage API to Discover VPS-activated Wayspots

If your app features the ability to discover VPS-activated Wayspots, or navigate to nearby VPS-activated Wayspots, you’ll need to use the VPS Coverage API. The VPS Coverage API lets you discover VPS coverage areas and understand how best to localize with VPS localization targets. Coverage areas describe the geographic region where a user can successfully localize with a localization target. Localization targets describe what the user should be aiming their device at when they want to localize with a VPS-activated Wayspot.

See Using the VPS Coverage API for details on using the VPS Coverage API.

Localize with VPS-activated Wayspots

Once your user is physically near a VPS-activated Wayspot, you can have them localize with that Wayspot. To localize with a VPS-activated Wayspot, you need to provide user location data and camera data of the user’s view of the VPS-activated Wayspot to Lightship VPS. Lightship VPS can then determine the user’s position and orientation relative to the VPS-activated Wayspot.

See Localizing with VPS for details on how to localize with VPS Activated Wayspots.

Create and Manage VPS Wayspot Anchors

Once your user has localized with a VPS-activated Wayspot, you can use VPS Wayspot Anchors to place virtual objects that maintain a consistent, stable pose in the AR environment. The VPS Wayspot Anchor API maintains a stable pose for Wayspot Anchors by tracking as the user changes position and sending corrected Wayspot Anchor position information.

The VPS Wayspot Anchor API will also provide a small “payload” for placed Wayspot Anchors that you can use to restore the Wayspot Anchor in a future session, or share with other users of your app.

See Using VPS Wayspot Anchors for details on placing, restoring, and using VPS Wayspot Anchors.