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Niantic shows off an AR headset and opens its Lightship platform



Niantic shows off an AR headset and opens its Lightship platform

You probably know Niantic best from AR games like “Pokémon Go.” During the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit in Hawaii, the company showed off a new benchmark AR headset. In addition, you open your Lightship platform to more developers or new products.

The visual positioning system called Lightship will be compatible with Snapdragon Spaces next year. According to Niantic, this step is taken because it also allows direct implementation on AR headsets. Eventually, this could allow autonomous use without a smartphone.

Niantic’s announcement is of course also related to Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1, Qualcomm’s new AR SoC. Developers using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces XR development platform will soon be able to use the features of the Lightship VPS (Visual Positioning System).

Niantic pointed out that the best AR experience can be achieved with lightweight AR glasses. Here, the metaverse was also used as a buzzword and reference was made to the internal 3D maps of the world, which could be the basis for this. As with so many Metaverse references, the accompanying demo also offers some potential for embarrassment.

At least I found the very euphorically presented demo by Niantic in Hawaii unintentionally funny. That’s doubly true, as the AR headset on display has been described as “extremely sleek.” Well, I’m curious if you see it the way society does. My definition of “elegant” is very different from Niantics.

For me, the AR graphics that can be seen are more PlayStation One level. The idea behind it, of course, has a lot of potential if you think of a better visual implementation. Let’s see if there’s similar meme potential here like with Meta’s “Horizon Worlds,” or if I’m the lonely cynic myself. Watch the video above and let me know what you think in the comments!

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