Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke has been talking up the potential of augmented reality via high-tech glasses since at least 2017, and his company is getting closer to making that a reality. Today Hanke tweeted out an intriguing teaser image that looks like a close view of AR glasses, complete with lenses and a small speaker.
So far it’s unclear whether these will try to expand on the path of Google Glass and HoloLens, or whether they’re intended for audio-only augmentation like Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo Frames.
Exciting to see the progress we’re making to enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform… pic.twitter.com/yYglk4q89G
— John Hanke (@johnhanke) March 29, 2021
In 2019 Niantic Labs announced a partnership with Qualcomm to work on AR glasses, before clarifying that it had “no plans” to make its own hardware and is actually building reference designs that others might manufacture.
Since then, it’s acquired a startup to help enable its world-scale AR plans, and announced an expanded partnership with Nintendo that will include a new Pikmin game it’s launching soon.