Niantic CEO Opens Up About AR Glasses Support

Niantic CEO Opens Up About AR Glasses Support
March 10, 2017
Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke just opened up about AR glasses for “Pokemon GO.” Photo: YouTube/Pokemon Go


Watch the video here.


Though Niantic Labs has yet to announce that it is planning to release a pair of AR glasses for “Pokémon GO,” many techies have already tried and somehow succeeded in porting the augmented reality mobile game to Android-based smart glasses. This week, CEO John Hanke is sharing his thoughts on what could be the next companion hardware for Niantic’s biggest and very successful mobile game.


In an interview with WIRED, Hanke talked about AR glasses for “Pokémon GO.” For Hanke, the AR spectacles would significantly change the way Trainers play the game. “They would make it possible to play the game in a way to keep your head up, to keep eye contact with other people, You would see all the cool stuff around you,” he said.


Hanke added that having AR glasses around would make it even easier for them to realize their goal of enabling people to discover new places in their city that they’ve never visited before. “This is easier if you do not have to constantly look down on your smartphone,” Niantic’s CEO added.


Unfortunately, Hanke said that Niantic still has no plans of developing such AR hardware as of late. “We are looking for ways to speed up the assumption of Augmented Reality. I would not rule out that hardware can help. But at the moment we are not developing AR devices,” he said.


Interestingly, he mentioned in the interview that they could be extending support to certain AR devices on the market. “For us, Augmented Reality means that games take place in the real world … There are ways to do that with phones, an example of this is Google’s Tango technology. There are also startups and corporations working on AR glasses such as HoloLens or MagicLeap. We will expand our platform to support the relevant devices as soon as there is enough of them on the market.”


There had been efforts to bring “Pokémon GO” to smart glasses. In August of last year, Recon managed to port the game to its Android-running smart glasses called Jet, as per Engadget. A month prior, Osterhout Design Group also ported the famous Pokémon game onto the R7 augmented reality smart glasses, as first reported by Wareable.

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