Lenovo has already unveiled the ThinkReality A3 glasses, based on the reference design


The headquarters of Qualcomm in the La Jolla area of San Diego, California. (Credit: Coolcaesar/Wikipedia)

US chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled its first augmented reality (AR) smart viewer reference design based on its Snapdragon XR1 platform.

The AR smart viewer is expected to help in designing advanced AR smart glasses for the consumer and enterprise markets.

According to Qualcomm, it offers hardware developers the tools needed to deliver high-performance, immersive experiences, and lower power consumption features in AR devices.

The reference design allows users to tether AR glasses to a compatible smartphone, Windows PC, or processing puck.

Microsoft stated: “The AR smart viewer category is a great vehicle to deliver immersive experiences as accessories to mobile devices, Windows PCs or other host-compute devices. We look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies to bring Azure MR services towards this ever-expanding ecosystem of Snapdragon-based Mixed-Reality end-points.”

To help distribute computing workloads between the viewer and the host device, the AR smart viewer has processing in the reference design.

On the other hand, AR simple viewer lacks any processing on the viewer.

Qualcomm said that the AR smart viewer reference design includes significant performance features and use cases for both the enterprise and consumers.

The features includes split-processing that allows the AR smart viewer’s on-device optimisations to provide a 30% reduction in overall power consumption on the system.

It consists of the 2D app framework that offer a systems-level feature to help launch smartphone applications into multiple virtual displays, which will be able to be anchored within the user’s environment.

In addition, the features also include support for an 8MB RGB camera with image stabilisation on the AR smart viewer.

Lenovo has already unveiled the ThinkReality A3 glasses, based on the XR1 Smart Viewer reference design. The glasses are expected to be released in mid-2021.

Qualcomm Technologies XR vice president and general manager Hugo Swart said: “The Snapdragon XR1 AR smart viewer marks a new chapter for our reference design portfolio and a big step in the evolution of AR viewers.

“AR simple viewers showcased viewers as an accessory to a smartphone. Now, AR smart viewers allow us to move some processing to the glass, to expand the possibilities of use cases, applications and immersion – this reference design is the first step in our roadmap to help scale the AR industry.”