CEO of Pokémon GO developer Niantic teases AR glasses device

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The CEO of Niantic Labs John Hanke has teased an augmented reality device on Twitter.

"Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform," Hanke said.

This tweet comes after Niantic has made further investments into AR, striking a partnership with Qualcomm and acquiring 6D.ai to help create large-scale AR experiences.

Niantic's most successful title Pokémon GO currently utilises aspects of AR when capturing Pokémon in the real world, for example.

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Niantic's AR device

Looking at the image Hanke shared, the AR glasses appear to include a speaker on the frame, along with an adjustable strap on the side.

It is unclear what AR features - if any - will be included within the lenses of the device. Niantic's device could instead follow Razer's Anzu smart glasses in offering users wireless audio rather than AR.

Other AR glasses devices have received mixed receptions upon release, with the Google Glass and HoloLens failing to garner the same attention as their VR counterparts.

PokemonGOAR
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Is this the future of Pokémon GO?

What's the point?

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When thinking about Niantic's AR potential, it's impossible not to mention Pokémon GO.

John Hanke previously featured in a Microsoft event wearing the HoloLens 2. Here, Hanke revealed a Pokémon GO mixed realities concept, in which he fed berries to a Pikachu. While the company emphasised this was just a concept, not intended for consumers, it gives us an insight into Niantic's future plans.

If the device is more 'Smart Glasses' than AR, the speakers could be used to alert players to nearby Pokémon with audio cues of Pokémon cries.

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