Niantic Labs – the company behind the famous game Pokemon Go, is coming up with a pair of AR Glasses, the company’s CEO announced on social media. “Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices to leverage our platform,” John Hanke, CEO of the Pokemon Go-maker said in a tweet, accompanied by a teaser image of the AR glasses. The image shared by Hanke shows a black-coloured frame with “Niantic” branding on the side of the frame in bright orange colour. While Niantic is not known for making hardware, it is a well-known fact that it is a heavy investor in the augmented reality space. Reports have suggested that there may be a branding partnership with a startup on a project, but the image shared by Hanke shows a device with first-party branding, leading us to believe that Niantic is, indeed, bringing a pair of AR glasses to the market.
The latest teaser from Niantic CEO also hints at the possibility of a pair of “smart glasses.” The difference between smart glasses and AR glasses is that smart glasses don’t come with a display but focus on bringing audio or camera functionality to a pair of glasses. Niantic had earlier said that it is working with Qualcomm to help define their reference design for XR hardware platform. As pointed out by TechCrunch, Niantic’s teaser comes after the company posted a job listing for a head of AR OS Engineering. “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 had said.
Niantic also recently announced a partnership with Nintendo on a new AR title based on Pikmin. Earlier this month, the company showed-off a proof-of-concept version of Pokemon GO on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2.