After showing off a first version a few months ago, Niantic announced on Wednesday a new version of an augmented reality headset that wants to change the real world.
Robots that run alongside you before going into battle in the air. Other creatures climbing the wall and a little further on, an information panel that appears in front of you to provide rules for a game played with others on the street. Your augmented reality (AR) glasses on your nose, you have entered a rather playful parallel world.
This is the stated goal of augmented reality specialist Niantic. At the Snapdragon Summit being held this week in Hawaii, the creator of Pokemon GO it even showed off a new version of its AR headset introduced last year. It will be the result of a partnership with Snapdragon, which will provide it with its latest chip and will run through its Snapdragon Space XR platform.
While waiting to see the finished product next year, Niantic has revealed a video of the promised capabilities of the Lightship VPS, a device that we don’t know if it’s a headset or augmented reality glasses. In any case, it is designed to be more ergonomic than the previous prototype.
A reference design to take full advantage of augmented reality
During its presentation on stage and in its expression in the video, it guarantees to fulfill a request of Niantic: to be a means of connection that transforms the real world, the interactions between users and with the environment. Therefore, this can take the form of AR games, indications that appear superimposed before the eyes without leaving the real world.
While Snapdragon is developing its dedicated AR2 Gen 1 chip which will bring more power, fluidity and speed of augmented reality processing thanks to two chips on board (a processor and a co-processor now ultraminiaturized) and a reinforced connection Wi-Fi to be more stable and longer. range, Niantic offers him a support there to exploit everyone. The San Diego manufacturer continues to claim that it believes in the generalization of augmented reality, but the devices to display it are still missing.
“Snapdragon is your ticket to the metaverse,” insists Don McGuire, the company’s director of marketing, who recalls that Snapdragon has been working on multiple realities for years and continues to believe in them. This partnership should also allow the two players to use their talents in a reference design.
Because Niantic has also announced the strengthening of its creator platform to allow all creators on Snapdragon Spaces XR to design content compatible with all its devices. Already offering experiences on smartphones and augmented reality glasses, it will add support for virtual reality headsets next year. And, thanks to Lightship VPS, the developer will further push the social experience by integrating the sharing of objects from one headset to another. You drop a real-world object into a location, and another compatible headset user will be able to see and interact with it as well.
The biggest innovation is definitely the mode’s dynamic map in AR and 3D. It will allow users to have a position in the world more accurately taken into account, practical especially for diving in real places. It will also make it easier to share routes or points of interest. Niantic and Snapdragon ensure that the power of the chip will find to the nearest centimeter a smartphone or a headset used for the experience.