Niantic is a popular name in Virtual Reality (VR). They were the ones who developed Pokemon Go and introduced the popular franchise to the mobile platform with VR. Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke has been exploring the potential of augmented reality via high-tech glasses since 2017 and now they are closer to their goal.
In a recent tweet, Hanke has teased a pair of Niantic branded AR glasses, which could be the company’s first-ever wearable AR device. The image is a close-up view of glasses, complete with lenses and a small speaker.
Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform... pic.twitter.com/yYglk4q89G— John Hanke (@johnhanke) March 29, 2021
“Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform,” Hanke mentions in his tweet. The word “platform” likely refers to the Niantic Real World Platform.
There's no considerable information on the glasses as of yet. It's not clear whether it will follow the likes of Google Glass and HoloLens providing a full-fledged AR experience, or whether they're intended for audio-only augmentation like Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo Frames.
In 2019, Niantic announced a partnership with Qualcomm to work on AR glasses. Later on, the company clarified its intention of building reference designs that others might manufacture and that it had no plans to make its own hardware. Since then, it had acquired a 3D mapping startup 6D.ai to help it develop "planet-scale" augmented reality for the future.