Niantic and Qualcomm have announced that they’ve entered into a partnership to develop new AR technology for gaming. The two companies have a long history in the mobile gaming and technology R&D spaces respectively, so it will be very interesting to see what they come up with. The two entities hope to develop a new AR system that will allow consumers to experience much more grand experiences in the augmented gaming space, as right now the industry is dominated by mobile apps and games.
All the details on the partnership are still being held behind closed doors, but the details were revealed from a report from VentureBeat. According to that report, each half of the effort will supply tech and expertise to create something new, akin to a new set of AR glasses. Niantic’s Real World Platform and Qualcomm’s CR2 hardware will be the basis for this.
They’re going to need that extra hardware muscle too, as the report suggests that the two companies want “world-scale AR games” that will have millions of players. That’s extremely ambitious for a technology still in its effective adolescence. Phil Keslin, Niantic co-founder and CTO really wants it to work though, as he says the deal should be able to 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.”
Right now the deal between Niantic and Qualcomm is still in the phase of working out the kinks, and full development and production has yet to begin. If they pull it off though, it will be huge if the team behind it markets it correctly.
The effort could certainly be helped along if Niantic could leverage popular properties like Pokemon Go on the new AR device. Nothing of that sort has been confirmed yet obviously — and we’re still years away from seeing any sort of progress with the new hardware — so we will just have to sit and wait it all out.