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Niantic Shows off Experimental AR Glasses

Niantic teases AR glasses that are meant for the outside world!

From the Makers of PokemonGo and Lightship ARDK

Most AR/VR headsets, goggles, glasses, etc. come with a few caveats. They may cause motion sickness and they are not meant for outdoor settings. You may know Niantic from their wildly popular AR game PokemonGo. Or, you might know them as the makers of the Lightship ARDK. Now, Niantic is working on a pair of AR glasses, according to an announcement today paired with some demo footage.

The demo was released in conjunction with several announcements made at this year's Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit, including a new mobile chip processor and a new reference headset design from Niantic. Niantic and Qualcomm have been working together on AR since at least 2019, and their latest collaboration includes software integration between their respective AR platforms.

A Chip Designed for AR Glasses

Qualcomm has announced the release of its latest chip, the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1, which has been specifically designed for augmented reality (AR) glasses. Unlike previous chips produced by Qualcomm, the AR2 Gen 1 has been created with a focus on making the chip small and power-efficient, making it ideal for AR glasses. Qualcomm claims that the chip's printed circuit board (PCB) is 40 percent smaller than that used in its last pair of AR reference glasses, which were powered by the VR-focused XR2 Gen 1 platform. Furthermore, the AR2 Gen 1 draws less than 1W of power, making it more energy-efficient than its predecessors.

The AR2 Gen 1 is the first chip produced by Qualcomm that has been specifically designed for AR glasses. Its compact size and low power consumption make it ideal for this use case, where space and battery life are key considerations. By producing a chip specifically for AR glasses, Qualcomm is aiming to help push forward the development of AR technology, and to make it more accessible to a wider audience.

While the AR2 Gen 1 is still in its early stages, Qualcomm's commitment to producing chips that are tailored to the needs of AR glasses bodes well for the future. As AR glasses become more commonplace, it is likely that we will see further improvements in chip design and functionality, making it easier than ever to enjoy the benefits of AR technology in our daily lives.

Awaiting the Announcement of a Release Date

The demo footage showing some players use handheld motion controllers inspires ideas for new AR apps to develop. The trailer showcases Niantic's vision for the future of AR gaming, with glasses that seamlessly blend the real and virtual worlds. While there is no indication of when such a device will be commercially available, the demo provides a tantalizing glimpse of what the future could hold. As AR technology continues to improve and become more accessible, it will be exciting to see how it will be used to enhance our daily lives.


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