Ultraleap (Bristol, UK) has signed a multi-year deal with chip giant Qualcomm that will see its hand tracking technology in tn latest 5G extended reality (XR) reference platform. Ultraleap’s Gemini fifth generation hand tracking platform will be pre-integrated and optimised on the standalone, untethered Snapdragon XR2 5G reference design for augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR).

The XR2 5G Platform is the first 5G-supported platform designed specifically for untethered extended reality (XR) systems, Gemini has been optimised for the Snapdragon XR2 5G platform to allow for an ‘always on’ experience and the most natural interaction in untethered XR. 

“Qualcomm Technologies recognises the importance of high-precision hand tracking in order to revolutionise interaction in XR,” said Steve Cliffe, CEO of Ultraleap. “The compatibility of our technology with the Snapdragon XR2 5G Platform will make the process of designing hand tracking within a very wide variety of products as simple as pick and place. Qualcomm Technologies is in the position to bring transformation to XR by making state-of-the-art technologies – including 5G and spatial computing – available to a broad market. We are proud to be at the forefront of this fast-growing ecosystem alongside them.” 

“Hand tracking is becoming a table stakes feature in next-gen XR devices,” said Hiren Bhinde, director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies. “True immersive XR experiences require seamless, natural and intuitive usage and interaction of the users’ hand when interacting in the digital world as they do in the physical world. Ultraleap’s hand tracking technology enables this seamless interaction through a natural connection between people and technology, which is incredibly important for the next generation of XR devices. We are excited to work with Ultraleap to help deliver more immersive experiences on the Snapdragon XR2 5G reference design.” 

The AI-based Gemini technology is applicable to a wide range of industries, including extended reality, automotive, digital signage, industrial automation, consumer electronics and location-based entertainment. For example, the hand tracking technology is used in the Varjo system that has just received an additional $100m backing (see over).

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