Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke teased an interesting new product today, and it could have big implications for games like Pokemon Go. On Twitter, Hanke revealed a teaser image of Niantic branded AR glasses. Niantic announced a partnership with the company Qualcomm back in December 2019, and last July, Niantic COO Megan Quinn told Protocol that she believed AR glasses could be "12 to 24 months" away. Quinn also said Niantic had no desire to build this hardware, so it seems likely that the image is part of the partnership with Qualcomm, despite the Niantic branding on the glasses.
The Tweet from Hanke teasing the glasses can be found embedded below.
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
Hanke's Tweet is definitely intriguing, and it will be interesting to see when an official reveal can be expected for the product. Niantic has been exploring lots of ways of making its games more immersive (such as reality blending), and AR glasses could further that goal. Of course, it remains to be seen what type of price point players might expect, and whether or not the glasses will be affordable for most. At this time, it's impossible to say for certain!
In addition to Pokemon Go, Niantic is also the developer of Ingress, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and an upcoming game based on Nintendo's Pikmin franchise. All of those games could benefit from this type of technology, but Pokemon Go seems like the one best suited; after all, Pokemon fans have dreamed of seeing the creatures appear in the real-world since the series debuted back in 1996. AR glasses would bring that closer to reality.
For now, fans of Pokemon Go will just have to wait and see what comes next! As the game nears its five-year-anniversary, it's safe to say Pokemon Go has evolved in ways players could never have expected in 2016. If Niantic wants to continue to appeal to players, it will have to keep finding ways to evolve the game. AR glasses could certainly be the next step.
Are you excited by the prospect of AR glasses for games like Pokemon Go? Is this the kind of thing you would use? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!