During today’s Microsoft Ignite event, in collaboration with Niantic Labs, the companies showcased what the possible future of Pokémon GO could be. They demoed a prototype of the augmented reality (AR) videogame on HoloLens 2 for the first time.
Currently just a proof-of-concept, the demo was part of Microsoft’s Mesh announcement to build shared experiences in mixed reality (MR). In the video which firmly pointed out that what was being shown wasn’t for consumer use, Niantic CEO and Founder John Hanke strolled through a park with various Pokémon running around his feet.
Using HoloLens 2’s hand tracking he then brings up his left hand which activates a menu UI, giving three options; a Poké Ball, Fruit and Pokémon, the latter offering a list of his available creatures. Selecting Pikachu, Hanke goes onto feed the famous yellow character some fruit before continuing with the presentation which doesn’t involve a battle, unfortunately.
It’s a tantalising look at the future of arguably the most popular AR title, where players no longer have to look at their phone screen because it’ll all appear in a set of AR glasses. That’s going to be some way off as devices like HoloLens 2 aren’t for consumer use, yet the next generation of smart glasses could well achieve that.
“We’re committed to leveraging and expanding our platform to build real-world AR experiences for as many devices as possible and reaching a diverse set of players no matter their physical location,” says Hanke in a blog post. “We’ve only scratched the surface. We know the years ahead to be filled with important achievements which will serve as waypoints in AR’s journey to become a life-changing computing platform.”
AR is viewed by many companies as the future of mobile computing, offering hands-free access to a digital world that interacts with the real one, whether that’s for gaming, work or any other use case. And it’s these kinds of partnerships that help to build that groundwork. As Niantic and Microsoft continue to announce more from their collaboration, VRFocus will keep you update.