On Thursday, December 6, Niantic Labs announced that it will be partnering with technology firm Qualcomm to produce a new line of Smart Glasses; augmented reality hardware designed to show digital information to a user via screens and speakers built into a pair of glasses.
For those of us who play the hit games Pokemon Go or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Niantic needs no introduction. As a company, Niantic has been at the forefront of AR technology-enabled games since the meteoric release of Pokemon Go in 2016, and even before that with the release of Ingress in 2012. Qualcomm, meanwhile, is the US-based producer of the highly praised Snapdragon line of processors, and has been a large player in the mobile hardware market in particular for some time. The prospect of Niantic's software and Qualcomm's hardware coming together has the potential to be big news, especially since initial reports state that the initial goal of the product is to make it more usable and affordable than previous high-profile Smart Glasses.
What this Means for the Player-Base
Since its start, Niantic has pushed their AR technology in their games. They have used virtually every sensor available in today's average Smart Phone as a part of their carefully crafted gaming experiences, and it's nearly a foregone conclusion that they will have support for a product that they're so heavily invested in for their existing games, as well as any future games that may be in the works. The imagination can run wild with the potential that such a technology could have if implemented in a compelling way, from catching Pokemon to casting spells without needing to touch your own phone.
To say the least, those of us who enjoy Niantic's games should definitely keep an eye on this project, as it could very well change the way that we play, and if Niantic and Qualcomm play their cards right, how we use our phones on a daily basis.
So what do you think of Niantic and Qualcomm's new venture? Do you plan on getting a pair on their release? How do you think they'll integrate this technology into their existing games? Let us know in the comments!