Mixed reality (MR) glasses are looking to become the new norm with models like the Nreal Light already available whilst concepts such as Samsung’s AR Glasses are still to come. One of the biggest proponents of this field is Qualcomm which has previously spoken about the influx of XR viewers. Today, Qualcomm has taken a step further into this area by announcing its XR1 AR Smart Viewer Reference Design.
Being a reference design it’ll never be available to buy in this exact form as it is intended to help OEMs reduce the time it takes to bring AR glasses to market. Designed to connect to compatible 5G smartphones, PC’s and other devices via cable, unlike simpler AR glasses where all the processing is supplied by an external device, Qualcomm’s XR1 AR Smart Viewer offers split-processing. That means computing workloads can be distributed between both devices seeing a ‘30% reduction in overall power consumption’ Qualcomm claims.
The XR1 AR Smart Viewer hardware design developed by Goertek features a micro-OLED binocular display from BOE, with a 90Hz refresh rate for a smooth experience; hand tracking, 6DoF tracking by two B&W cameras; plane detection and image stabilisation. Other specs include a 45-degree FOV, fixed IPD, a 220mAh battery, 2 speakers and 3 mics.
“The Snapdragon XR1 AR smart viewer marks a new chapter for our reference design portfolio and a big step in the evolution of AR viewers,” said Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. in a statement. “AR simple viewers showcased viewers as an accessory to a smartphone. Now, AR smart viewers allow us to move some processing to the glass, to expand the possibilities of use cases, applications and immersion -this reference design is the first step in our roadmap to help scale the AR industry.”
The first showcase of the XR1 AR Smart Viewer Reference Design actually occurred during CES 2021 last month. Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 glasses are powered by the Snapdragon XR1 Platform. The device is focused on enterprise solutions, set to come to market in mid-2021.
Qualcomm – like many companies – envisions these smart viewers as primary work tools, creating virtual monitors to write on or holographic models for training. But the consumer market will also be involved so you can watch videos on the train, check on your social media or play a videogame.
As more of these designs come to market, VRFocus will continue to keep you updated.