Niantic, the studio behind location-based augmented reality games Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, has just teased what seems to be a pair of AR glasses on Twitter.
In the tweet, CEO John Hanke said that it was exciting to see the progress the studio had been making to enable new kinds of devices that leveraged its platform and shared a single photograph showing a small portion of a lens, speaker, and what seems like a strap.
Industry analysts have quickly come up with several theories to explain what the picture is showing. According to some, Niantic is working on a proper AR headset with head-tracking capabilities and wave guide display. If that’s the case, then it’s likely based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Platform, the world’s first 5G-supported XR platform, which the two companies worked on together back in 2019.
“We’re looking forward to helping move the entire AR industry forward as we work together with Qualcomm Technologies to define a true end-to-end architecture – inclusive of hardware, software, and cloud technologies,” said Phil Keslin, Co-founder and CTO of Niantic, at the time.
Alternatively, Niantic could be working on simple smartglasses, such as Snapchat’s Spectacles, perhaps with the ability to display a simple HUD where players could see important information about the game they’re playing.
What we know for a fact is that the studio established partnerships with multiple leading telecommunications companies, including Deutsche Telekom, EE, Globe Telecom, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank Corp, Telus, and Verizon, forming an alliance with a goal of bringing 5G-ready consumer augmented reality content to the masses.
Popular games like Pokémon GO and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite would certainly generate a lot of interest if players could experience them through a pair of AR glasses.