What Is the Niantic Project? Google Is Glad You Asked.

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Nov. 8 2012 4:04 PM

What Is the Niantic Project? Google Is Glad You Asked.

What is the Niantic Project? Google was hoping you would ask.

An enigmatic website and Google Plus page recently appeared for the Ninatic Project, apparently devoted to unlocking hidden truths in the world around us. Though the website is obscure and mostly seems to stoke paranoia, it sounds a lot like the Field Trips Android app announced in September by Google’s Niantic Labs, which pinpoints users and reveals surprising details about their surroundings.

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The shared Niantic namesake—which refers to the famed ship that brought hopefuls to California during the Gold Rush—has led to speculation that the Niantic Project is merely a marketing tool for Google. Others have suggested it may be connected to Google’s augmented reality glasses, named Project Glass.

Either way, since we’re talking about it at all, Google can probably consider Niantic a mission accomplished.

Jeffrey Bloomer is a Slate assistant editor focused on video. Follow him on Twitter.

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