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This article was published on August 4, 2016

Niantic CEO wants users to play Pokémon Go on internet-connected contact lenses someday

Niantic CEO wants users to play Pokémon Go on internet-connected contact lenses someday
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Reports suggest Pokémon Go just surpasses $160 million in revenue worldwide, or at least the parts of the world it’s currently available in. Niantic CEO John Hanke’s vision, however, was of something even bigger: an app that required a special internet-connected contacts and involved spending big at businesses promoted within the game all while cleaning up local communities in the process.

Hanke reportedly wanted gamers to rock the custom lenses in an effort to completely augment the game by requiring nothing more than looking around you, rather than at a mobile phone. That was the point of the game after all, to get people out and exploring, instead of lounging around on their devices. Sure, there’s a bracelet, but it’s not quite the thing

According to Hanke:

That park near your house, you drive by it every day, and you never stop there. What would happen if people actually used it?

For the most part, Pokémon Go achieved just that. It got people off the couch, interacting with others, and exploring their communities in a brand new way. The app has also continues to shatter App Store records on its way to becoming the highest grossing game of all time.

You can’t argue with the success of the game, but you can’t help but wonder: What if Hanke got his way about the contacts?

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