Niantic teases possible AR smart glasses

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‘New kinds of devices’ are leveraging the Niantic platform, suggesting a set of augmented reality smart glasses could be on the horizon

Quick read

➨ John Hanke, chief executive officer of Niantic, the company behind the popular augmented reality smartphone game Pokémon GO, revealed an image of the device on social media yesterday
➨ It’s unclear whether this is a fully-fledged augmented reality-capable set of smart glasses, or a device more akin to the Ray-Ban glasses that Facebook is developing with Luxottica
➨ Niantic is hard at work developing augmented reality technology and its own capable smart glasses are a next logical step

The story

Niantic has teased the launch of what could be its own set of augmented reality smart glasses.

John Hanke, chief executive officer of Niantic, the company behind the popular augmented reality smartphone game Pokémon GO, revealed an image of the device on social media yesterday.

He said: “Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform.”

It’s unclear whether this is a fully-fledged augmented reality-capable set of smart glasses, or a device more akin to the Ray-Ban glasses that Facebook is developing with Luxottica.

Those won’t have an integrated display of any kind, but they could be similar to Snap Spectacles or Amazon’s Echo Frames and so designed to enhance gaming experiences or an existing smartphone platform.

Niantic is hard at work developing augmented reality technology and its own capable smart glasses are a next logical step. It recently partnered with Nintendo to develop new mobile games powered by the immersive technology.

The company is working with Qualcomm on the development of an integrated design spanning augmented reality glasses reference hardware, software, and cloud-components.

Niantic also teamed up with Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank Corp, Telus and Verizon to form an alliance that will make a global case for 5G-ready consumer augmented reality content and experiences.

More recently, Niantic revealed a prototype demonstration of Pokémon GO running on HoloLens 2.

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Image: Niantic

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