Skip to main content

Qualcomm's new chip will lead to augmented reality glasses you'll actually want to wear

Day two of chip maker Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit played host to the reveal of the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 – the company's first dedicated augmented reality chipset – designed to better serve AR experiences through smart glasses and other similar headworn wearables.

Qualcomm already has a well-established presence in the XR (virtual reality / VR, mixed reality / MR and augmented reality / AR) space, with the Meta Quest 2 and Pico 4 notably running on the company's recent XR2 platform, while Meta's fresh-faced Quest Pro headset – which lightly dabbles in mixed reality thanks to its full-color passthrough support – is one of the first headsets to run on Qualcomm's enhanced XR2 Plus chipset. The experiences and devices the AR2 Gen 1 is designed to support are slightly different, however.

Up until now, even existing Qualcomm-powered augmented reality wearables, such as Microsoft's HoloLens 2, have had their size and form dictated, in part, by the size and power demands of the current chipsets they're running on. Despite approaching a look that more accurately matches conventional everyday sunglasses, even the company's own Snapdragon XR1-powered AR reference design comes with chunky arms and unusual proportions in order to fit the XR1 chipset inside of it.

Despite the somewhat confusing name, the newly-unveiled Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 is Qualcomm's first attempt at a dedicated AR platform to better suit the form factor of augmented reality glasses that science fiction has promised us; a headworn AR system that doesn't have to compromise on the dimensions of conventional sunglasses in the way previous attempts have, while also serving up better connectivity and lower latency experiences than previous devices.

Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 distributed processing

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Rather than having to fit a single SoC into the bridge or arms of a pair of smart glasses, three elements of the AR2 Gen 1 are separated out, to reduce the overall footprint of the platform; making it easier to fit into a wider array of form factors.

Compared to the XR2, the AR2 Gen 1 boasts a 40% smaller PCB and 45% less wiring, with the new reference design Qualcomm showed off during the Summit placing the main AR processor in one arm, the connectivity module in the other and the AR co-processor in the bridge.

Analysis: the right tool for the job

Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 feature summary

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

With heavier computing offloaded to a supporting device (like a smartphone), the AR2 Gen 1's hardware can instead focus on delivering a faster and more responsive experience, punctuated by the same new FastConnect 7800 WiFi module found inside the company's newly-announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile chip, serving up cutting-edge WiFi 7 speeds with a sub 2ms latency.

What's more, this focused approach means the AR2 Gen 1 also serves up 50% less power consumption and 2.5x better AI performance, compared to XR2 when it comes to tasks like object recognition and hand tracking.

Companies like LG, Nreal, Oppo, Pico, TCL and Xiaomi have already committed to creating their own AR devices running on the AR2 Gen 1, with the potential for hardware supported 6DoF tracking, eye tracking and a number of other great AR features expected to appear on this next wave of devices.

Until these slimmer, sleeker, more responsive AR2 Gen 1 smart glasses make their way to market, however, check out or rundown of the best VR headsets that you can (and should) buy, right now.

Source: TechRadar

Popular posts from this blog

Cyber Monday Canada: Last-minute deals for everyone on your list

Best Cyber Monday Canada deals: Smart Home Audio Phones, Tablets & Accessories Wearables Laptops & PC Components Amazon products Gaming Televisions Cameras Lifestyle & Kitchen Toys & Kids Cyber Monday Canada is here, and retailers are rolling out the red carpet for customers who want to shop for everything from tech to kitchenware to games and everything in between. Unlike years past, Cyber Monday Canada deals look a bit different than normal. Instead of retailers trying to pack their stores with as many shoppers as possible, we're seeing tons of online deals that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your home. We've rounded up our favorites below, so feel free to browse through the best of what Canada Cyber Monday has to offer! This list is being updated with new Cyber Monday deals all the time, so check back often. Spotlight deals It's a Switch Nintendo Switch Fortnite Edition bundle $399.95 at Amazon It's a Switch.

The hidden cost of food delivery

Noah Lichtenstein Contributor Share on Twitter Noah Lichtenstein is the founder and managing partner of Crossover , a diversified private technology fund backed by institutional investors, technology execs and professional athletes and entertainers. More posts by this contributor What Studying Students Teaches Us About Great Apps I’ll admit it: When it comes to food, I’m lazy. There are dozens of great dining options within a few blocks of my home, yet I still end up ordering food through delivery apps four or five times per week. With the growing coronavirus pandemic closing restaurants and consumers self-isolating, it is likely we will see a spike in food delivery much like the 20% jump China reported during the peak of its crisis. With the food delivery sector rocketing toward a projected $365 billion by the end of the decade, I’m clearly not the only one turning to delivery apps even before the pandemic hit. Thanks to technology (and VC funding) we can get a ri

Slack’s new integration deal with AWS could also be about tweaking Microsoft

Slack and Amazon announced a big integration late yesterday afternoon. As part of the deal, Slack will use Amazon Chime for its call feature, while reiterating its commitment to use AWS as its preferred cloud provider to run its infrastructure. At the same time, AWS has agreed to use Slack for internal communications. Make no mistake, this is a big deal as the SaaS communications tool increases its ties with AWS, but this agreement could also be about slighting Microsoft and its rival Teams product by making a deal with a cloud rival. In the past Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has had choice words for Microsoft saying the Redmond technology giant sees his company as an “existential threat.” Whether that’s true or not — Teams is but one piece of a huge technology company — it’s impossible not to look at the deal in this context. Aligning more deeply with AWS sends a message to Microsoft, whose Azure infrastructure services compete with AWS. Butterfield didn’t say that of course

iPhone 13 Pro vs. iPhone 15 Pro Buyer's Guide: 50+ Differences Compared

The iPhone 15 Pro brings over 50 new features and improvements to Apple's high-end smartphones compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, which was released two years prior. This buyer's guide breaks down every major difference you should be aware of between the two generations and helps you to decide whether it's worth upgrading. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro debuted in 2021, introducing a brighter display with ProMotion technology for refresh rates up to 120Hz, the A15 Bionic chip, a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, Macro photography and photographic styles, Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field, ProRes video recording, a 1TB storage option, and five hours of additional battery life. The ‌iPhone 13‌ Pro was discontinued upon the announcement of the iPhone 14 Pro in 2022, but it is still possible to get hold of it second-hand. Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhone models is best for you and serves as a way to c