It is exciting to see the progress we are making to enable new types of devices that take advantage of our platform … pic.twitter.com/yYglk4q89G
– John Hanke (@johnhanke) March 29, 2021
It’s not often that John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, tweets about upcoming projects and internally developed products. Hanke’s recent tweet is a departure from this practice, as the Niantic leader openly revealed a preview of Niantic’s newest project: AR glasses.
This is nothing new in itself, as Niantic previously announced a partnership with Qualcomm to build AR glasses, but we weren’t expecting to get a preview of the device so soon. Hanke is known to criticize phone screens for not being immersive enough, which we tend to agree with.
A phone is a separate screen, not connected to your natural field of vision, and is often a distraction during runs, hikes, and walks. Niantic has been consistently optimistic about the development of augmented and mixed reality solutions, touting its Real World platform as an industry forerunner.
Recent acquisitions and partnerships (Microsoft!) have solidified Niantic’s intention to boost its research division. We are not sure if there is any other company that invests in both RA and Niantic.
See the recent demo with Hanke and, we assume, a work-in-progress version of the AR glasses design:
We are delighted to collaborate with @microsoft AND @hololens about new experiences that will unite the digital and physical world. See this proof-of-concept demo, built on our planetary-scale platform, and the incredible possibilities that might lie ahead. https://t.co/ig0bQUIQ8b pic.twitter.com/gGk5djVayC
– Niantic, Inc. (@NianticLabs) March 2, 2021
Hanke gave the following statement after Microsoft’s Ignite conference:
This year Microsoft Ignite Conference, we announce that we are collaborating with Microsoft on new kinds of experiences that advance innovation in the sewing of the digital and physical world, and connect people in whole new ways. We gave a glimpse of the potential for new augmented reality experiences by showing a proof-of-concept demo of Pokémon GO. While this demo is not intended for consumer use, it does provide an early look at future developments in both software and hardware.
Nuts, right? Let’s see where this takes us, but we are optimistic that Niantic can deliver a revolutionary AR experience in the next 2-4 years.