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Nex + Ingress Band could be why Pokemon GO smartwatch apps are delayed

By Jules Wang December 20, 2016, 12:21 am

The Nex Band sounds like one of these new-wave wearables that’ll hit the crowdfunding rounds sooner or later — and it did, earlier this year. The team behind it is encouraging you, the consumer, to “hack your life” with its five-button concept to get notifications, remind users of geolocation markers, create music and so on.

So, what does this have to do with Niantic Labs — the company that developed Ingress, the game for geocachers to hack the world, and another game that brought Pokemon to life?

The maker of Pokemon GO has seemingly stalled development on its Apple Watch app, scheduled to be released by the end of the year. Niantic has since only said that the app is still coming soon to address rumors of its delay.

Why the delay?

9to5Mac reports that Niantic is backing the Nex + Ingress Band a variation of what seems to be the upcoming second iteration of the Nex Band called Evolution. It takes the same five-button concept from the original product, adds color LED displays to each button, but puts a focus to the Ingress game with “Mods” and game functions executable by just wearing the band. A Pokemon GO version of the Nex Band is also being discussed.

The financial interests and negotiation work of getting more control of a Nex Band versus a free Apple Watch app that was promised by the end of the year. Delaying one project could benefit the other, but whether Niantic would benefit the most from deciding in this dilemma is questionable.

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