Niantic Labs CEO’s Twitter Post Hints At New AR Glasses

Niantic Lab, a pioneer in AR technologies, has developed the only augmented reality platform that...


Niantic Lab, a pioneer in AR technologies, has developed the only augmented reality platform that can be used around the world and is suitable for current and future generations of hardware. The company’s CEO John Hanke recently tweeted out an intriguing teaser image that looks like a close view of AR glasses, complete with lenses and a small speaker. So far, it's unclear whether these will try to expand on the path of Google Glass and HoloLens, or whether they're intended for audio-only augmentation like Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo Frames.

Read more The Future of Wearable Computing May Be Augmented Reality – Newest Developments in AR Glasses

In 2019 Niantic announced a partnership with Qualcomm to work on AR glasses, before clarifying that it had "no plans" to make its own hardware and is actually building reference designs that others might manufacture. Since then, it's acquired a startup to help enable its world-scale AR plans, and announced an expanded partnership with Nintendo that will include a new Pikmin game it's launching soon, reports EndGadget.

Niantic’s real-world gaming platform includes a scalable shared-state and user interaction engine that has been proven to support hundreds of millions of players, as well as a platform that sets a new standard for map creation, security, and AR capabilities.

The Twitter teaser also follows Niantic’s posting of 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 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.”

Read more Apple Glasses: What We Know About Them And Their Release Date From Leaked Report

Hanke’s post arrives at a time when the one-time Google spin-out is going through a flurry of activities. Last week Niantic announced an AR title based on Pikmin, another Nintendo collaboration following its wildly successful Pokémon title. Earlier this month, the company showed off a proof-of-concept version of Pokémon GO running on Microsoft’s HoloLens 2.

Sam Draper
April 14, 2021

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