Even though augmented reality isn’t really that big of a part of Pokemon GO (Free) (most players turn off the feature anyway), the game has become synonymous with the technology. Now that Apple is really leaning into AR with iOS 11 and ARKit, I’ve been curious to see whether Pokemon GO‘s developer, Niantic, will once more dip into AR, and it looks like that’s exactly what it’s doing. According to a recent presentation, the developer is working on a new AR title that will incorporate audio cues into the experience. Phil Keslin, the company’s CTO, talked about how AR can force players to awkwardly walk around with their phone held up high, which is unnatural and “makes them look like a total doofus." Pokemon GO only forces you to use the AR feature briefly, so you’re not a total doofus.
Audio, Keslin continued, can be integrated into an AR experience much more naturally, since all you need is earbuds in your ears. He then teased that audio clues could be coming in their next game, currently under development, although he didn’t offer any further details. He did offer an example of how audio could be integrated in an AR experience, with the game telling you to head in X direction but avoid looking up while doing so. In its recent history, Niantic hasn’t teased features or ideas that didn’t turn into reality soon after, so I’m inclined to believe that Niantic is indeed working on an audio-based AR experience. When it might arrive and what that experience might look like remains to be seen.