Qualcomm Technologies has today revealed the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, a headworn Augmented Reality (AR) developer kit to enable the creation of immersive experiences that seamlessly blur the lines between our physical and digital realities.
Qualcomm also announced the acquisition of the team and technology assets from HINS SAS and its wholly owned subsidiary, Clay AIR, a provider of hand tracking and gesture recognition solutions. They join Wikitude in working on the transition from smartphone to headworn AR.
Already in early access with select developers including Felix & Paul Studios, holo|one, Overlay, Scope AR, TRIPP, Tiny Rebel Games, NZXR, forwARdgame, Resolution Games and Trigger Global, Spaces will be generally available in Spring 2022.
Next gen AR
Snapdragon Spaces allows developers to build immersive applications for AR glasses and make them accessible to end users leveraging existing smartphone digital distribution stores globally. The platform includes software developer kits for leading 3D engines, including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and Unity, as well as the newly announced Niantic Lightship.
Snapdragon Spaces is based on the Khronos OpenXR specification to enable application portability and is the first headworn AR platform optimized for AR glasses tethered to smartphones with an OpenXR conformant runtime.
This new platform offers machine perception technology optimised for performance and low power for the next generation of AR glasses. It provides environmental and user understanding capabilities that give developers the tools to create headworn AR experiences that can sense and intelligently interact with the user and adapt to their physical indoor spaces.
Some of the marquee environmental understanding features include spatial mapping and meshing, occlusion, plane detection, object and image recognition and tracking, local anchors and persistence, and scene understanding. The user understanding machine perception features include positional tracking and hand tracking.
Snapdragon Spaces enables developers to build 3D applications for AR glasses from scratch or simply add headworn AR features to existing Android smartphone applications to drive a unified, multi-screen experience between the smartphone screen in 2D and the real world in 3D. Developers will also receive a robust resource library that includes documentation, sample code, tutorials, knowledge bases, and tools to help accelerate their development.
“The Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform underscores our commitment to empowering developers to explore bravely and create confidently, paving the way to a new frontier of spatial computing,” said Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies. He went on to say that it is, “Designed to support the democratisation of XR by taking a horizontal, open channel approach so developers can rapidly bring their ideas to life and reach a wide range of end users. We welcome developers to join us in this journey to reimagine reality.”
That journey starts today with the launch of the Pathfinder Program, designed to support AR innovators through early access to platform technology, project funding, co-marketing and promotion, as well as hardware development kits to help grow an active community of Snapdragon Spaces developers. Find out more here.