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Niantic Teases Smartglasses Running Its Popular AR Apps « Next Reality

2 min read

Mobile augmented reality gaming pioneer Niantic is chomping at the bit to get games like Pokémon GO out of smartphones and onto smartglasses, and it appears to be taking matters into its own hands.

After previewing a proof of concept of Pokémon GO running on HoloLens 2 earlier this month, Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke on Monday shared a closely-cropped photo of a pair of smartglasses emblazoned the company’s wordmark on the temple.

“Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform,” said Hanke in the tweet accompanying the image.

Despite the cryptic nature of the tweet, the company has already tipped its hand regarding its efforts in smartglasses development.

In 2018, Niantic made a strategic investment into waveguide display maker DigiLens, with Samsung eventually joining the Series C funding round that closed at $50 million.

Niantic’s proof of concept with HoloLens 2 previews how Pokémon GO could work with AR wearables. Image via Microsoft

While DigiLens makes optical components intended for manufacturers to integrate into its own products, the company has also developed the DigiLens Crystal smartglasses reference design that it licenses to manufacturers looking to jumpstart product development.

The financial relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that Niantic plans to slap its brand on smartglasses based on the DigiLens Crystal design, but it does make DigiLens a clear candidate.

Cover image via John Hanke/Twitter

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