After dominating as a silicon supplier for smartphones, Qualcomm wants to replicate that ubiquity with processors for augmented reality headsets as well as reference designs to give device manufacturers a head start.
Tuesday instead of a unveiling at Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm unveiled its reference designs for AR headsets, smartglasses and VR headsets with pass-through AR support on its new Snapdragon XR2 platform for next-generation wearables.
The reference design, which Qualcomm expects to be available to selected manufacturers & # 39; in the coming months & # 39 ;, supports twice the computer and graphics performance, four times the video bandwidth and six times higher resolution compared to the Snapdragon 835 platform, which can be found in the Ximmerse Rhino X and Pacific Future Am Glass.
The headset can output seven cameras, including two internal cameras for eye tracking and four external cameras. 39; s, with two RGB cameras & # 39; s for pass-through AR experiences that can be spatially mapped. Together with the cameras & # 39; s, the reference design includes an IR transmitter for both six degrees of freedom of hand (6DoF) tracking of head and hands and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).
And of course with the pressure on 5G connectivity by both carriers and hardware manufacturers, the XR2 reference design includes the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem RF to support the next generation of networks.
Qualcomm tapped Goertek to make the headset design and worked with NDI to support 6DoF controllers and Tobii to provide eye tracking technology.
In addition to facilitating the production of AR hardware, Qualcomm has set up the Qualcomm XR Enterprise program within the existing Qualcomm Advantage Network support for enterprise software for the XR2 platform. Enterprise AR platforms that connect to Qualcomm include Arvizio, Data Mesh, Librestream, Motus XR, Scope AR, Spatial, Strivr, Ubimax and Upskill.
Qualcomm is already well on its way to becoming indispensable for AR hardware makers as it is today for smartphone manufacturers. Snapdragon chips feed many of the augmented reality smartglasses and headsets that are currently on the market or will be announced shortly.
In addition to the Rhino X and Am Glass, Snapdragon processors can be found in the Microsoft HoloLens 2, the Realmax Qian, the Gen X2 from ThirdEye , the Nreal Light, Rokid Glass, the Lenovo ThinkReality A6 and the RealWear HMT-1.
Qualcomm & # 39; s market leadership and technical expertise make it a crucial role in the success of the AR hardware industry. If its influence on smartphones is an indicator, we must be in good shape.