Niantic Labs, the maker of the famous augmented reality (AR) mobile game Pokemon Go, might now be making AR Glasses. John Hanke, CEO of the San Francisco-based software company, has shared a teaser of what appears to be a pair of Niantic-branded glasses, suggesting that the company is ready to move into the hardware game.
“Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform…,” Mr. Hanke wrote in his Twitter post, along with a cropped image of eyeglasses temples around the hinge area (see the featured image above).
The black-colored temples sport the “Niantic” brand name in bright orange atop what looks like a strap. There also appears to be a speaker or microphone grille on the underside of the temples. The lenses are seemingly surrounded by a metallic frame, while the temples are likely plastic-made.
Niantic Labs is seemingly making a pair of AR Glasses
Back in December 2019, Niantic Labs announced a multi-year collaboration with chip giant Qualcomm on an “integrated design spanning AR glasses reference hardware, software, and cloud-components”. The two companies promised to accelerate the development of AR devices while ensuring interoperability with the latest innovations. The development of 5G compatible AR devices was one of the focus points.
However, not much has been heard about this partnership since that announcement during Qualcomm’s annual Snapdragon Technology Summit 2019. It now appears the device shown in the cryptic tweet by Niantic CEO is a result of this collaboration.
Niantic already has multiple AR games under its belt. Along with Pokemon Go, the company has also developed games like Ingress, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and most recently, a Pikmin AR game. Its Niantic Real World Platform is already used by hundreds of millions of users. And from what Mr. Hanke said, the company is now working on enabling new kinds of devices (i.e. AR Glasses) to leverage the platform.
Unfortunately, he didn’t share any additional details about the device, neither the image he posted reveals the rest of the hardware. So it’s not immediately clear whether this upcoming pair of glasses will just come with AR capabilities or there’s more to the story. We will have to wait for more details to emerge.
It’s likely going to be a while before the device goes official though. Hopefully, Mr. Hanke will continue to share more details in the coming months, as the company progresses with the development.