A new Niantic hologram investment has the potential to see some neat new augmented reality equipment come out in the coming months and years. The Pokemon Go developer has participated in the Series C funding round for DigiLens, a company that specializes in the technology. Without delving too much into the details of investing, a company reaching the Series C round of investment means that it’s established itself to a degree and has a clear direction for where they’re going. The Niantic hologram investment is one part of a bigger whole – but it may lead to something great for gamers in the future.
At the moment, Digilens is working with integrating augmented reality technology into several different potential displays. Augmented reality motorcycle helmets, windshields, and eyeglasses are all being worked on by the company. Although some people have likely played Pokemon Go in their car, the Niantic hologram investment will likely be focusing on the eyeglasses products as a potential tool for gaming. (Please don’t catch ’em all and drive.)
Pokemon Go currently has augmented reality capability built into the game that makes use of your device’s camera. As cool as this can be, a set of eyeglasses that seamlessly makes the Pokemon and points of interest pop up in the world would certainly be much cooler. DigiLens has some prototypes and are currently working on improving their devices. Unfortunately, several technological bottlenecks (such as the size of projectors and cameras) are constraining some of the potential improvements for DigiLens’ augmented reality devices. It’s simply a matter of time before we can see some really groundbreaking devices make their way to the market.
That’s not to say that Niantic might not be interested in something a little more boring. It’s a little-known fact that one of Niantic’s earlier projects was an app called Field Trip that made use of geolocation data and augmented reality to highlight points of interest in the real world. They later followed this up with the much more popular Ingress and the insanely popular Pokemon Go.
Interestingly, this is the first company that Niantic has invested in rather than outright acquired. It’s probably not an issue of funding – Pokemon Go practically prints cash. Whatever their reasoning may be, the Niantic hologram investment has the potential to take augmented reality gaming to the next level.
Image Credit: DigiLens