Qualcomm is building next generation AR glasses with an unlikely partner

During its tech Summit, Qualcomm introduced its XR2 platform, which will unite 5G and AI innovations with its XR technology. To mark the launch of this platform, the firm has partnered with Niantic, the company behind popular games such as Pokémon GO!
Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Concept Glasses
Snapdragon XR2 Concept Glasses by Qualcomm. Photo: Qualcomm

An industry first

According to a press release, the Snapdragon XR2 Platform is the world’s first 5G-supported extended reality (XR) platform. Qualcomm states that the product can be scaled across augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).

The specs on this release look to be a great improvement on current technology. the company says that with the new product, it will deliver 2x the CPU and GPU performance that its current XR platform. Additionally, it will have 4x more video bandwidth, 6x higher resolution and 11x AI improvement.

There is also an overhaul when it comes to camera technology. It has seven concurrent cameras and a specialist computer vision processor. Furthermore, this XR platform will enable low latency camera pass-through to unlock true MR. This will allow users to see, interact and create a mix of the real and virtual realms while wearing a VR device.

Hugo Swart, VP and Head of XR, Qualcomm Technologies
The Snapdragon XR2 Platform was unveiled at the Qualcomm tech summit 2019 by Hugo Swart, Qualcomm VP and head of XR. Photo: Qualcomm

A powerful alliance

With the capabilities of this new platform, it is starting to make sense to why Qualcomm has collaborated with Niantic. The San Francisco-based firm is behind some of the most popular AR games. The company developed Ingress, Pokémon Go, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

However, the current generation of AR and wireless technology has limited the capabilities of Niantic. Even though the business saw great success with its Real World Platform, it seems have reached a dead end. Now, with the introduction of 5G and a revised XR platform, both Qualcomm and Niantic can take their goals to the next level.

A Niantic press release states that the two companies have agreed on multi-year joint collaboration. Projects invoked in the deal will include work on AR glasses, software, and cloud components.

Niantic Real World Platform
The Niantic Real World Platform has revolutionized mobile gaming. However, the AR gaming industry is still in its infancy, with huge prospects to come. Photo: Niantic

Further success on the horizon

Phil Keslin, co-founder and CTO of Niantic is excited to get the partnership going. He feels that the pair can usher in a new era within their industry.

“We’re looking forward to helping move the entire AR industry forward as we work together with Qualcomm Technologies to define a true end-to-end architecture – inclusive of hardware, software, and cloud technologies,” Keslin said, as per Niantic’s press release.

Niantic’s Pokemon GO! was the quickest game to gross $100 million. With a strong partner in Qualcomm by its side, the company is in a great position to continue breaking records.

What do you think of the collaboration between Qualcomm and Niantic? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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