It looks like Niantic, the company behind Pokémon Go, may soon enter the wearables business. According to a report from 9to5Mac, Niantic is developing a wearable for its games. Perhaps even more interesting is that this wearable is reportedly the reason that the Pokémon Go app for the Apple Watch hasn’t been released before the end of the year, as was promised by Niantic.
It’s important to note that 9to5Mac’s sources for Niantic news may not be the best, so this report could turn out to be false — the publication recently reported that the Pokémon Go app for the Apple Watch had been shelved, news that Niantic was quick to refute. Still, the renders for the first wearable, which will be branded for Ingress, another Niantic game, look pretty real.
The band looks quite similar to the Nex Band Evolution — a band that was available for pre-order through Kickstarter earlier this year. The campaign for that band quickly died, but the band itself appears to have resurfaced through a licensing deal with Niantic.
The wearable itself looks to be a lot more functional than the Pokémon Go wearable that was released shortly after the game itself. It has five touch-sensitive displays that will offer notifications and icons, and, according to the 9to5mac report, will last up to four days on a single charge. The band also appears to offer all the functionality that the Apple Watch Pokémon Go app would, so there would likely be no reason for someone to use both the Apple Watch app and the new wearable.
Only time will tell what Niantic ends up doing, but even if we do get this wearable, it may have to compete with the Apple Watch Pokémon Go app in the near future.