Niantic, a company best known for developing the AR mobile game Pokémon Go, has unveiled a prototype of a new augmented reality headset that opens up access to multiplayer games and will allow multiple players to interact with shared virtual objects in the same place at once.

The AR system consists of glasses with a folding strap and a handheld motion controller to control the interface. The hardware components appear to be housed on the rear of the AR glasses. Several cameras are built into the glasses, allowing them to recognize surfaces and take them into account when superimposing virtual objects.

The main distinctive feature of the new AR headset is its multi-user mode based on a visual positioning system that allows you to link a digital object with its real location so that multiple users can see it at the same location and at the same time.

Reference design if the outdoor AR Headset
Image: Niantic

“Our VPS makes digital objects and creations exist and stay in real-world locations, like they would if they were physical objects. So if one person places a digital object, another person can discover it in exactly the same location. That means digital AR experiences are like the social interactions people have in the physical world,” Niantic notes.

The glasses are powered by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 processor, which is designed specifically for AR devices.

Although the glasses look like a finished product, Niantic notes that this is still a prototype. Niantic's Lightship visual positioning system will work with Snapdragon Spaces starting in 2023.