Qualcomm has announced the launch of a developer platform designed for him development of augmented reality experiences from devices placed on the head. Is named Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, and although it is currently only compatible with Lenovo’s ThinkReality A3 augmented reality glasses, coupled to Motorola smartphones, Qualcomm assures that it will soon also be compatible with Oppo and Xiaomi hardware. Specifically, in the first half of 2022.
But in addition to hardware manufacturers, Qualcomm will also reach agreements with various companies dedicated to software, entertainment and development. These agreements will allow it to expand the platform’s software ecosystem, and it currently has agreements with Epic Games for its Unreal Engine, with Niantic for its Lightship platform, with Unity and with Viacom CBS, among other entities.
Likewise, both Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile will enter into agreements with Qualcomm to support startups that use Snapdragon Spacies through the hubraum program. Of course, for now only a controlled number of developers will have access to this program. Among them are Felix & Paul Studios, holo | one, Overlay, Scope AR, TRIPP, Tiny Rebel Games, NZXR, forwARdgame, Resolution Games, and TriggerGlobal. If all goes according to Qualcomm’s estimates, the platform will be available to everyone in the spring of 2022.
Hugo Swart, Vice President of Qualcomm and Head of XR of the company, has highlighted that «The Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer platform underscores our commitment to empowering developers to boldly explore and believe with confidence, paving the way to a new frontier of space computing. Snapdragon Spaces is designed to support the democratization of XR by taking a horizontal and open approach, so developers can quickly bring their ideas to life and reach a wide variety of end users. We welcome developers to join us on this journey to reimagine reality«.
In addition to announcing this platform, Qualcomm has also confirmed the purchase of equipment and various technology assets from HINS SAS and its subsidiary Clay AIR, an acquisition that was made due to the company’s interest in its gesture recognition and hand tracking solutions, which shows Qualcomm’s clear commitment to augmented reality.
With the platform launched, Qualcomm wants to soften the barriers to entry that developers have to build augmented reality experiences. They will have access to documentation, code examples, tutorials and additional tools to develop basic augmented reality applications. Today, the platform can support features such as persistence, local anchors, hand tracking, object recognition and tracking, plane detection, occlusion spatial mapping, and meshing.
To further help companies that want to develop for the augmented reality ecosystem, Qualcomm is opening another program, called Pathfinder. With it, participants will get advance access to software tools and hardware development kits, as well as additional funds for their projects and promotion and collaboration in marketing efforts by Qualcomm.