Niantic Unites with Qualcomm for AR Glasses


On December 5, Qualcomm and Niantic each released their own announcements, both outlining their future partnership with each other. Niantic has teamed up with Qualcomm to develop a foundation for AR glasses. These glasses would be powered by Qualcomm’s new 5G cross reality platform: Snapdragon XR2.

Could this mean Wizards Unite Glasses in the future?


Statute of Secrecy Spectacles?

Our very own Spectrespecs?

Luna Lovegood sporting a pair of Spectrespecs, glasses that were given out in a 1996 copy of The Quibbler which were supposed to allow the wearer to see Wrackspurts.

Niantic expresses their excitement to “execute a multi-year joint collaboration on an integrated design spanning AR glasses reference hardware, software, and cloud-components.”

This means that the partnership will serve as a lasting collaboration into the future where Niantic will optimize their Real World Platform to work with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 platform.

Qualcomm’s announcement focuses on this monumental first in AR hardware: the world’s first 5G-powered Extended Reality (XR) platform. They detail the Snapdragon XR2 Platform, which is the world’s first XR platform to support seven cameras and a dedicated computer vision processor.

This is the first Extended Reality platform to “enable low latency camera pass-through to unlock true MR, which allow users to see, interact and create a hybrid of the virtual and real world while wearing a VR device.”

For a while now, John Hanke, Niantic CEO, has often detailed his vision for the future of AR not involving a phone. Consuming Augmented Reality through wearable technology like a pair of glasses is the natural evolution of AR and is much more immersive than consuming AR via a phone screen. Hanke’s hopes for the future always included “something like a pair of glasses,” and Qualcomm’s XR2 glasses could be the device we all have been hopeful for.

Wearable tech like a pair of glasses was both highly anticipated and criticized when Google made waves by announcing its Google Glass and Glass Explorers programs in 2013. Six years later and we still have not seen a mass-produced, widespread-use device for the general public. With the increased comfort for and popularity of wearable technology such as smart watches, we can hope that a device like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 can bring the games we love to play on our mobile phones to a new, immersive reality.

Unlike the recent announcement by Niantic for the unified Wayfarer system, Wizards Unite was mentioned explicitly in this release for the future of technology development with the company. What could XR and AR devices like a pair of glasses bring to a game like Wizards Unite?

In years to come, will we be walking around town returning Foundables, see towering Fortresses, swiping Inns, and harvesting Greenhouses in a mashup of the Wizarding World and the Muggle World all before our eyes with the power of wearable technology? Let us know in the comments how you would like to see this technology bring the magic of Wizards Unite to a new level.

You can read more about the Secrets of Niantic’s Real World Platform here on Wizards Unite Hub.

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1 year ago

How is this technology going to fit persons who already wear glasses?