esterday, Niantic CEO John Hanke shared a post to social media which teased what could be the first, head mounted wearable AR device, as the company continues to accelerate their efforts in augmented reality technology.
The CEO shared an image of what appears to be a pair of glasses sporting the bright orange Niantic logo, accompanying the text:
“Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform...”
In recent years, Niantic have made significant investments in developing augmented reality hardware, there is also a possibility that the company have made a branding partnership with a startup on a project, however, this cryptic cropped image certainly looks like the company is showcasing hardware with their own branding.
The new glasses will fall within the ‘smart glasses’ category, however, they may not feature a display and instead focus on building audio or camera functionality into a pair of glasses. This is inline with a previous statement that Niantic have been working with Qualcomm to assist with the design and development of their XR hardware platform.
For now, the platform remains under wraps for the most part, it appears they may be waiting for a more active moment in augmented reality development to make a major push. This may include a broader augmented reality hardware ecosystem, which may not be too far in the future as Facebook and Apple race to be the first to release their own devices.
It is clear that Niantic are focused on their augmented reality technology efforts, just last week the company announced an AR title based on Pikmin, another Nintendo collaboration following its wildly successful Pokémon game. Earlier this month, Niantic also showed off a proof-of-concept version of Pokémon GO running on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. The company has also posted a job looking for a Head of AR OS Engineering with the advert stating:
“We are on an ambitious mission to turn the world into an Augmented Reality canvas which games and other applications can paint on top of,” the listing states. “This future is fully realized on AR Head Mounted Displays (HMDs). Niantic’s Engineering Team is seeking an inspirational leader to oversee the engineering direction to help build an AR operating system for HMDs and enable applications for millions of Niantic players.”