Is Niantic Planning AR Glasses For Pokemon Go?

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Niantic has so far shied away from talking about AR smart glasses forPokemon Go, but now its CEO has given some hint about such devices. John Hanke talked about the next big thing/hardware for the augmented reality-based game in an interview with WIRED and said it would change the way people play Pokemon Go.

How AR glasses could help Pokemon Go players

Pokemon Go was the most popular game last year, and even now, the AR-based game is one of the most financially-successful games worldwide. The game encouraged many to walk around city streets and parks with their heads bowed and eyes focused on their phones while attempting to catch the virtual creatures. However, keeping eyes on phones instead of on the road is quite dangerous and has led to many accidents.

Hanke said smart glasses would make it possible for players to play the game while keeping their heads up and maintaining eye contact with other people.

The CEO said, “You would see all the cool stuff around you.”

Hanke said the AR glasses would soon look like normal eyewear, but fashionable and cool. The CEO said people would be able to express their personality with them.

According to Hanke, the smart glasses would also make it easier for the gaming company “to realize their goal of enabling people to discover new places in their city that they’ve never visited before.”

Niantic may extend support for AR devices

When Hanke was asked if they are building AR hardware for their other games, he said they have no plans to develop such AR hardware as of now.

“I would not rule out that hardware can help. But at the moment we are not developing AR devices,” the CEO said.

However, in the interview, Hanke noted that they could be extending support to some augmented reality-based 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,” he said.

Hanke said they will start supporting such devices only when there are “enough of them on the market.”

Meanwhile, in the absence of any such smart glasses, many technology enthusiasts have already attempted (and also somewhat succeeded) in porting the location-based app to Android-based smart glasses. For instance, Recon tried to port the popular game to a pair of Android-based smart glasses they released last year, notes Engadget.

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