Offered as providing robust machine perception technology that is optimized for performance and low power for the next generation of AR glasses, the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform features environmental and user understanding capabilities that enable developers to create headworn AR experiences that can sense and intelligently interact with the user and adapt to their physical indoor spaces. Some of the key environmental understanding features include:

  • spatial mapping and meshing
  • occlusion
  • plane detection
  • object and image recognition and tracking
  • local anchors and persistence
  • scene understanding

The user understanding machine perception features include positional tracking and hand tracking. The company has acquired the team and certain technology assets from HINS SAS and its wholly owned subsidiary, Clay AIR, Inc., a provider of hand tracking and gesture recognition solutions, which allows developers the ability to create interactive experiences that have natural and intuitive user interactions with their hands.

In addition, says the company, it has welcomed AR technology provider Wikitude to the Qualcomm family. With the launch of Snapdragon Spaces, the existing community of 150K+ registered Wikitude AR developers can join in accelerating the transition from smartphone to headworn AR.

Snapdragon Spaces takes a direct-to-consumer approach that allows developers to build immersive applications for AR glasses and make them accessible to end users leveraging existing smartphone digital distribution stores globally. Snapdragon Spaces includes software developer kits (SDKs) for leading 3D Engines, including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine so developers can create experiences using familiar 3D tools and workflows like Unreal’s real-time 3D creation tool for photoreal visuals and immersive experience.

Niantic Inc.’s recently launched Lightship developer platform will integrate with Snapdragon Spaces to enable developers to create planet-scale AR experiences. The Lightship Platform will expand reach to outdoor headworn use cases and inspire people to explore outside, and to connect and play with others in real time through multi-player functions. This builds on the ongoing collaboration to create a reference design for AR headsets to accelerate AR software and hardware development.

The Snapdragon Spaces platform also supports app portability and unified workflows with Unity AR Foundation and Unity MARS, enabling developers on the platform to create experiences that fully integrate with the real world. Snapdragon Spaces is based on the Khronos OpenXR specification to enable application portability and is the first headworn AR platform optimized for AR Glasses tethered to smartphones with an OpenXR conformant runtime.

Leading smartphone and AR hardware OEMs including Lenovo, Motorola, OPPO, and Xiaomi are initial partners to support Snapdragon Spaces in 2022, says the company, with the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses paired with a Motorola Smartphone as the first to commercialize Snapdragon Spaces. The company says that it is also working with an ecosystem of global operators, including Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, INC. and T-Mobile U.S., with more global operators to be announced later.

The operators will help scale and bring AR glasses tethered to smartphones supporting Snapdragon Spaces to commercialization starting next year. To help fuel innovation and application development in the U.S. and Europe, both T-Mobile U.S. and Deutsche Telekom will support Snapdragon Spaces with their T-Mobile Accelerator innovation programs for developers of tech incubator hubraum.

Snapdragon Spaces enables developers to build 3D applications for AR glasses from scratch or simply add headworn AR features to existing Android smartphone applications to drive a unified, multi-screen experience between the smartphone screen in 2D and the real world in 3D. Developers will also receive a robust resource library that includes documentation, sample code, tutorials, knowledge bases, and tools to help accelerate their development.

Snapdragon Spaces is in early access with AR developers including Felix & Paul Studios, holo|one, Overlay, Scope AR, TRIPP, Tiny Rebel Games, NZXR, forwARdgame, Resolution Games, and Trigger Global. In addition, newly launched Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Program is designed to support AR innovators through early access to platform technology, project funding, co-marketing and promotion, and hardware development kits to help grow an active community of Snapdragon Spaces developers.

“The Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform underscores our commitment to empowering developers to explore bravely and create confidently, paving the way to a new frontier of spatial computing,” says Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon Spaces is designed to support the democratization of XR by taking a horizontal, open channel approach so developers can rapidly bring their ideas to life and reach a wide range of end users. We welcome developers to join us in this journey to reimagine reality.”

Snapdragon Spaces is in early access with select developers and is expected to be generally available in the Spring of 2022.

Qualcomm Technologies

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