Niantic CEO teases possible augmented reality glasses

Niantic, the creator of Pokémon Go and other augmented reality games, has always been exploring how to improve augmented reality games. While they previously said they have no plans to create their own hardware, it appears their CEO John Hanke is teasing his Twitter account. The image he posted looks a lot like a set of digital glasses and is branded Niantic. But it remains to be seen if this is an actual product they are developing or just a reference design.

Hanke tweeted a photo of what appear to be glasses with visible lenses and a plastic and cloth arm and an attached strap. Also shown is a speaker and / or microphone grill and Niantic branding on the side. The caption reads: “It is exciting to see the progress we are making to enable new types of devices that take advantage of our platform …”. It’s a bit of a mystery whether this is a real product or just a reference design, as there were no plans to create your own hardware last year.

Around 2019, Niantic and Qualcomm took the stage together to discuss plans for an augmented reality headset using Snapdragon’s XR2 platform. But later, Niantic COO Megan Quinn said that this is more of a reference design than an actual product they are developing. This is a common way for game developers and hardware designers to show what they are thinking in design and a kind of short cut for manufacturers. So this may be what Hanke was joking about.

The company’s vision is to bring Niantic Real World Platform both to potential AR hardware to be developed for it and to third-party AR devices. The platform consists of its core games Ingress, Pokémon Go, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, as well as related cartographic and social data. Companies and individual players can add new locations to the database and it can be integrated into some AR features.

How Augmented reality glasses it could be integrated with games and the Niantic Real World platform remains to be seen. Well, in fact, we don’t know what exactly Niantic is kidding at the moment, so we’ll have to wait for the next move.


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