Qualcomm Technologies has become one of the biggest proponents for XR smart glasses thanks to the constant revision of its reference design for OEMs. These are all tethered devices but today, Qualcomm has revealed its first step toward a wireless future for these immersive glasses with its new Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design.
Most smart glasses (or smart viewers as Qualcomm likes to call them) cable to an external device, be it a phone or small processing unit to supply power and handle the heavy software lifting. This means they can stay fairly lightweight whilst maintaining a slim form factor. Somehow, using its technical wizardry, Qualcomm’s wireless reference design is not only slimmer in places but also looks better than its tethered kin.
Sporting a 650mAh battery – in a press briefing, Qualcomm’s GM of XR Hugo Swart wouldn’t say how long that could last – the Wireless AR Smart Viewer uses Wifi 6 in conjunction with the Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 System to pair to a device, providing “virtually lag-free AR experiences” the company claims. Utilising Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon XR2 platform to power the glasses, it has a dual micro-OLED binocular display with a resolution of 1920×1080 per eye at a 90Hz frame rate.
FastConnect is paired with a split processing system so that the smart glasses send across all the 6Dof, hand and eye-tracking data, the smartphone processes all of that in conjunction with the XR app before sending it all back to the glasses. All of this achieved with a <3ms latency.
As for what you could be watching on these wireless smart viewers, look no further than Snapdragon Spaces, Qualcomm’s developer platform for AR experiences. It has created a $100 million fund to encourage content creators as well as partnering with Square Enix and T-Mobile to help build immersive titles.
Like all of Qualcomm’s reference designs, the Wireless AR Smart Viewer has been created for other companies to build upon, so Qualcomm won’t release this as its own product. Much in the same way, Lenovo made the ThinkReality A3 smart glasses from the XR1 AR Smart Viewer Reference Design.
So there’s no telling quite yet when these wireless XR glasses will come to market. As these details come to light, gmw3 will keep you updated.