Qualcomm introduced its first-generation augmented reality (AR) prototype platform based on the Snapdragon XR1 platform just over a year ago. It is specially designed to give users an immersive experience in a headset or smart glasses device, which can be connected to a smartphone or Windows PC/laptop. However, the reference design of the XR1 AR Smart Viewer, in this case the smart glasses, had to be connected to a device via a cable. Unlike a simple AR viewer, the AR smart viewer has processing power both in the reference design and in the host device, which greatly helps in balancing the computing workloads.
Now the second generation of the technology has been refined and Qualcomm today revealed that its new Snapdragon XR2 platform is completely wireless. The new wireless AR smart viewer eliminates the cord between AR smart glasses and a compatible smartphone, Windows PC or processing puck, and we think it’s the biggest upgrade from Snapdragon XR1.
Still, the improvements don’t stop here. The reference design for the Snapdragon XR2 is 40% thinner and has a more balanced weight distribution, so they are more comfortable to wear. The smart glasses have a dual micro-OLED binocular screen (full HD resolution) with frame rates up to 90 Hz and a motion blur-free function to provide a seamless AR experience.
Thanks to the fully integrated Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 solution, the reference design now also supports Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth connectivity, enabling users to receive the fastest commercially available speeds and extended range. Wi-Fi 6 isn’t just a simple speed boost, although that’s certainly its biggest benefit. Compared to Wi-Fi 5 which offers download speeds of up to 3.5 Gbps, Wi-Fi 6 can reach speeds of up to 9.6 Gbps.
Qualcomm confirmed that its new Snapdragon XR2 platform and Wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design is already available to select partners, with greater availability expected in the coming months.