As detailed by Qualcomm, the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 platform delivers 2.5x better AI performance while consuming 50 percent less power, all in a 40 percent smaller PCB area, which should allow AR glasses makers
to bring a new generation of both sleek and high-performance AR glasses.
The Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 platform features WiFi 7 connectivity, courtesy of the Qualcomm FastConnect 7800 mobile connectivity system, giving it <2ms sustained latency, 40% lower power, and support for High Band Simultaneous Multi-link.
As noted, the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 platform uses a multi-chip approach, spreading the platform to the main AR processor, AR co-processor, and connectivity chip, and as "AR Distributed Processing Architecture", dynamically works to distribute the processing of latency-sensitive perception data directly on the glasses and offloads more complex data processing requirements to a Snapdragon-powered smartphone, PC or to other compatible host devices.
Since it is optimized for the "AR Distributed Processing Architecture", this also means that such a platform will be compatible with "devices powered by the Snapdragon or a PC powered by the Snapdragon Compute Platforms".
The main AR Processor handles perception and display output, as it features a dedicated hardware acceleration engine that improves user motion tracking and localization, an AI accelerator to reduce latency for sensitive input interactions such as hand tracking or 6DoF, and a reprojection engine for a smoother experience.
The AR Co-Processor handles sensor aggregation with AI and Compute Vision, and handles eye tracking and iris authentication.
“We built Snapdragon AR2 to address the unique challenges of headworn AR and provide industry-leading processing, AI and connectivity that can fit inside a stylish form factor,” said Hugo Swart, vice president of XR product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With the technical and physical requirements for VR/MR and AR diverging, Snapdragon AR2 represents another metaverse-defining platform in our XR portfolio to help our OEM partners revolutionize AR glasses.”
“Microsoft worked closely with Qualcomm on the platform requirements for Snapdragon AR2 to help define the purpose-built, foundational technologies to unlock new possibilities in AR experiences,” said Rubén Caballero, Corporate Vice President of Mixed Reality, Devices & Technology, Microsoft. “Snapdragon AR2 platform innovations will revolutionize headworn AR devices that will transform immersive productivity and collaboration and we look forward to seeing the innovation that Qualcomm and its partners will bring to market.”
Unfortunately, we did not get a precise timeline for these next-generation AR glasses, but it did say that the Snapdragon AR2 is currently in various stages of development with OEMs including Lenovo, LG, Nreal, OPPO, Pico, QONOQ, Rokid, Sharp, TCL, Vuzix and Xiaomi.