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Niantic And Qualcomm Are Developing AR Glasses

Remember when Google Glass had its heyday? The world wasn't quite ready for that revolutionary concept. But now, after a few years of enjoying AR games like Pokemon Go, it might be time for another go at AR glasses. That's what Niantic and Qualcomm seem to believe. The two companies have announced that they are coming together to develop some AR glasses of their own. 


Today at Qualcomm Technologies' annual Snapdragon Technology Summit, Niantic joined with Qualcomm's head of mixed reality to announce the new project, which was described as a "multi-year joint collaboration on an integrated design spanning AR glasses reference hardware, software, and cloud components." In layman's terms, this means that using Qualcomm's technology, the two companies are developing a way for users to see experiences like Pokemon Go, Ingress, and Harry Potter Wizards Unite projected onto the real world. That's pretty cool. 

In a blog post, Niantic co-founder and CTO Phil Keslin said, "We're looking forward to helping move the entire AR industry forward as we work together with Qualcomm Technologies to define a true end-to-end architecture – inclusive of hardware, software, and cloud technologies." Our first look at the hardware shows some mixed reality glasses that look like something Dr Disrespect would love to wear. They're certainly not as streamlined as Google Glass, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Concept Glasses boast "5G connectivity as well as voice-based interaction, eye tracking, and passthrough camera capabilities among other features." Again, that's pretty cool. 


Although this is exciting news, this is just the first glimpse of the "multi-year joint collaboration." Don't expect to be playing Pokemon Go on a stylin' pair of mixed reality shades any time soon. That said, Niantic is still working to make Pokemon Go an immersive experience true to reality. We reported earlier this year that the company has been perfecting PokeStops and making a myriad of updates to keep the augmented reality game the very best it can be. One day we'll get to play it on these mixed reality glasses, should this project prove successful.