Virtual Reality

Qualcomm unveils AR2 Gen 1 platform for AR glasses

Niantic Labs also unveiled its outdoor AR headset powered by the AR2 platform.

During the Snapdragon Summit, the company unveiled its latest technology, the AR2 Gen 1 platform, which will be a key part of the next generation of thinner and trendier augmented reality (AR) glasses.

Hugo Swart, Head of Product Marketing at Qualcomm, spoke about this latest breakthrough, saying the AR2 Gen 1 platform is the first of its kind specifically designed for developing better AR glasses. He noted that creating these types of devices is very different from other VR projects, like something for the Quest Pro or Peak 4.

One of the biggest challenges designers face is power consumption. Qualcomm’s multi-chip design can deliver a 2.5x increase in artificial intelligence (AI) performance while using only half the power. This could allow designers to create glasses that can detect objects in the room faster while remaining lightweight.

For Qualcomm, the goal of the AR2 Gen 1 platform is to spread the computational load across the frames by dividing the processor into three coprocessors: one in each arm of the glasses and a third located above the bridge. It has a 4nm-based AR processor capable of handling multiple features, such as visual analytics and graphics, and it can also support up to nine cameras that would be used to track you and your surroundings. .

For reference, the Quest Pro has 10 cameras; five inside and five outside. This doesn’t count the cameras on the new Touch Pro controllers.

Unfortunately, the company noted that the new AR2 Gen 1 platform won’t be able to deliver the same level of performance as the current generation of VR headsets. For example, while the new chips will allow users to experience more precise depth detection and scanning, they won’t be able to provide the same level of detail.

Credit: Qualcomm

In order to make the next generation of AR glasses a success, Qualcomm relies on the support of computers, smartphones and the cloud. Some of the chipsets that will be used in these next-gen glasses will be able to handle AR graphics using Wi-Fi 7. This means you can theoretically connect devices to a network at speeds of up to 5.8 Gbps. . According to Qualcomm, this feature will help reduce latency and provide a more responsive and natural AR experience.

Thanks to AR2 Gen 1, eye tracking will now have supported security features such as iris authentication, which could open up new ways for people to unlock their devices and introduce security features. other features to enhance your AR experience.

Before working on the next generation of AR glasses, the company had already worked on various AR headsets, such as the real light and A3 glasses of Lenovo. However, during a briefing with reporters, Swart noted that the company’s current efforts haven’t been able to deliver the same level of performance when it comes to battery life, battery life on all AR and VR headsets averaging less than 2 hours.

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Getting involved in the ecosystem is very important for technology companies because it allows them to extend their reach and provide their products with the best possible support. For example, earlier this year Microsoft announced a partnership to use the AR2 Gen 1 chip for future products beyond the HoloLens 2.

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that Niantic Labs also announced its own sleek outdoor AR headset powered by Qualcomm’s AR2 platform. The device weighs just 0.5 lbs and has some pretty impressive specs according to the company:

  • Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1
  • Works outdoors.
  • Manual tracking
  • Works with Snapdragon Spaces (Unity/Unreal)
  • 2.5x better AI, 50% less power (compared to last generation)
  • WiFi 7
  • Phone-to-device latency 2ms
  • Third-party controllers
  • Supports Lightship/VPS

In addition, Qualcomm has also introduced new S3 generation 2 and S5 generation 3 sound platforms designed to make the latest technology more accessible. This includes spatial audio, which lets users track their head movements, and the latest version of adaptive noise cancellation, which can be used in games. Unfortunately, these will not be available until the second half of 2023.

Despite the various features that will be included in the next generation of AR glasses from the company, it is not yet clear whether the technology will be able to deliver the same level of performance. However, given the progress the company has made, it’s possible that the next generation of AR glasses could be the start of a new era of innovation.

Hey, I just want to look cool and have fun augmented reality experiences!

You can learn more about Qualcomm’s Snapdragon A2 Gen 1 platform by clicking here.

Feature image credit: Qualcomm

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