Pokémon Go developer’s AR glasses could make you a real-life trainer

Pokemon Go
(Image credit: Niantic)

Pokémon Go developer Niantic looks like it’s been hard at work developing its own pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses, as evidenced by a post on Twitter from Niantic CEO John Hanke. The preview image makes the product look non-intrusive and stylish enough that they won’t look too out of the ordinary when wearing them out in public.

In the tweet, Hanke specifically states the desire to “enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform.” Likely, this means that Niantic’s AR glasses will benefit the most from the company’s in-house projects like Pokémon Go and its upcoming Pikmin mobile game. 

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Currently we have nothing to go on in terms of the tech used for the device, or even a release date, and Niantic itself hasn’t released any info outside of Hanke’s tweet. Last month though, Microsoft showed off a Pokémon Go proof of concept demo with its own HoloLens mixed reality device. This suggests that Niantic has been playing with the technology for some time now, and could be gearing up for a full announcement later in the year. 

Super effective?

We think there’s great potential waiting to be tapped into with Niantic’s AR glasses, especially when it comes to Pokémon Go. And it makes sense that Niantic would want to grow the app even further, as Pokémon Go had a phenomenal 2020, making $1 billion in revenue over a ten month period.

If Pokémon Go continues to grow year on year, then it’s understandable that Niantic would want to supplement that growth with new ways to play. Niantic’s AR glasses would likely overlay Pokémon Go’s augmented reality gameplay over your current real world location.

The Pokémon Go app might then be used as it normally is: aiming and throwing your Pokéball to catch any critter you’ve come across. We must admit, having your thrown Pokéball immediately show up through the lenses of Niantic’s AR glasses sounds like it could be a blast, if the transition from phone to glasses display is as smooth as it needs to be.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.