Qualcomm has launched its latest augmented reality (AR) prototype platform based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform.
The platform gives hardware developers all the tools they need to deliver a high-performance immersive experience in a headset or smart glasses device that consumes low levels of power.
The XR1 AR Smart Viewer reference design (which customers use to create their hardware) allows customers to create their own enhanced smart viewer (AR). Based on the design, enterprise users and consumers will be able to wear the AR glasses and plug them into a smartphone, Windows PC, or other Qualcomm Snapdragon device to tap into more computing power or battery power.
The AR smart viewer has processing in the reference design to help circulate a computing workload between the viewer and the host device, compared to a simple AR viewer that has no processing on the user -watch. AR smart viewer reference design packs important performance features and high-end usage issues for both the enterprise and the consumer, Qualcomm VP Hugo Swart said in a press release. What is different now is the ability to put some processing in the glasses.
I listened to Swart talk about this while he was inside the Spatial mixed app. I signed in through my smartphone and then actually went into the press conference using an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. Swart showed slides on a screen inside the virtual avatars, and raised questions from reporters who were inside the space as virtual avatars.
The platform has a split processing, with some of that calculation happening in the glasses themselves and some on the machine, which is connected to the glasses via wire. This design will help keep the glasses small and comfortable, but it will also bring computing power to the device, Swart said.
The 2D app framework provides a system-level feature that helps launch smartphone applications to multiple virtual displays that can be anchored within the user’s simple AR browser. It is compatible with select smartphones, host processing pucks, and PCs, including but not limited to devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Platform 800 series processors.
The framework also supports viewing protected content to watch major movies and streaming services with the smart viewer. Users will have the ability to connect to a PC, and the smart viewer combines plane detection and the ability to deliver multiple virtual displays to allow virtual PC windows to be anchored to real-world aircraft.
“We believe that independent, all-in-one devices will continue to grow, continue to grow better, smaller,” Swart said. “But there is also a market for AR connected to devices we already use. So it’s not that we think it’s one or the other. ”
Microsoft said it will bring its Azure MR services to the Snapdragon mixed reality ecosystem. Lenovo also unveiled its ThinkReality A3 – powered by the Snapdragon XR1 Platform. Lenovo is targeting its smart glasses device at the launch with a launch in mid-2021. Nreal has also embraced the platform with its latest smart glasses products.
“We want this reference design to be the center of that smart audience that our customers will trade, which will be available to the end user and XR1-based campaigns,” said Swart. “It’s an AR smart viewer reference design. The benefits of a smart viewer include low power, as you can get a 30% reduction in system power when you go from a simple viewer to a smart viewer. ”
He said, “You can now run more data at the same time, enable manual tracking and tracking, and run with richer graphics. It makes the experience more immersive. We have also built several types of hosts, from 5G phones to PCs. “
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