Pokémon Go creator sees the future of gaming in the AR cloud

Contributed by
Apr 12, 2018, 5:43 PM EDT (Updated)

If you’ve been wondering about the value of spending so much time gaming and reading sci-fi novels, take inspiration from Niantic CEO John Hanke.

If you’re not familiar with Hanke or Niantic Inc., you’re still likely aware of a little augmented reality (AR) mobile game they developed called Pokémon Go. Remember when all those people kept walking into things a couple years back? Yeah, that was Hanke’s fault. 

Well, it turns out that Hanke is a huge fan of sci-fi, which he believes is a “great source of inspiration and ideas.” In fact, he was inspired early on in his career by William Gibson’s cyberpunk classic Neuromancer. “It was predicting the future of the industry I was working in,” said Hanke while speaking at a GamesBeat 2018 session focused on how sci-fi influences modern creators of entertainment and communications.

And it sounds like the matrix world of Gibson’s prophetic book is still inspiring Hanke, and the direction he sees AR taking. According to Polygon, Hanke said he was “investing heavily in the AR cloud,” which takes geo-computing to a whole other level. 

Hanke imagines a location-based, shared AR experience, kind of like a much larger version of Pokémon Go. He invited audiences to imagine a coffee shop where you could be joined by AR quest-givers, shared virtual characters who could dole out different tasks to different patrons. So in essence, the AR cloud would work over and on top of our real world.

Hanke believes gaming will help push this sci-fi tech beyond the realm of fiction, too. “It feels really natural… Gamers are willing to put up with some glitches and imperfections in new technologies, which makes gaming a great frontier to try new ideas.”

See, kids, gaming and sci-fi can lead to riches!

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker