Qualcomm unveiled a new Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design powered by the Snapdragon XR2 platform last week with very few details, but the company has now demonstrated the system to some members of the press, so let’s have a closer look.
The reference design aims to provide a similar level of performance as a headset connected to PC or premium smartphone, but with some of the processing offloaded to the Snapdragon XR2 processor, thereby eliminating the need for a cord while still achieving lag-free experiences in combination with the Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 solution. It is supposed to offer a 40% thinner profile and a more balanced weight distribution than the earlier Snapdragon XR1 smart glasses reference design.
Wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design specifications:
- SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 with
- Octa-core processor with 1x Kryo Gold prime @ 2.84 GHz + 3x Kryo Gold @ 2.42 GHz + 4x Kryo Silver @ 1.81 GHz
- Adreno 650 GPU @ up to 587 MHz
- Hexagon 698 DSP with quad Hexagon Vector eXtensions
- Spectra 480 Image Signal Processor
- Adreno 665 Video Processing unit for decode up to 4K240/8K60, encode up to 4K120/8K30, concurrent 4K60 decode & 4K30 encode for wireless display
- Adreno 995 Display Processing unit
- NPU230 Neural Processing unit
- SPU240 Secure Processing unit
- 2x SeeYA 0.49-inch micro OLED displays with 1920 x 1080 resolution at up to 90 Hz
- Lense thickness – 15.6mm
- RGB camera
- 2x 6 DoF tracking cameras
- Connectivity – WiFi 6/6E and Bluetooth 5.3 with Qualcomm FastConnect 6900
- Latency – Less than 3ms between headset and host
- Battery – 650 mAh good for about 30 minutes (USB-C power is also possible)
- Weight – 115 grams
The system is supported by the FastConnect XR software suite with features such as head and hand tracking, 3D reconstruction, and boundless AR, and the press release also mentions “immersive experiences that unlock the Metaverse”.
Improvements in design now make such augmented reality solutions look like and feel like wearing sports sunglasses. Hubert Nguyen further reported how the glasses work:
a smartphone receives the stream and does the heavy computing (3D, AI, video encode), all with a 20ms motion to photon latency, according to Qualcomm. The glasses decode the video stream sent by the smartphone, and the process repeats for every frame.
Qualcomm has already made the wireless AR Smart Viewer reference design available to select partners, and wider availability is expected in the coming months. So I’d assume similar products, most probably for the enterprise market, will become available by the end of the year or in Q1 2023.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.