Qualcomm announces Snapdragon Spaces to help developers create immersive AR experiences
While augmented reality (AR) headsets have improved significantly over the last couple of years, great augmented reality experiences are still hard to come by. Qualcomm aims to address that with Snapdragon Spaces — a new platform to help developers create immersive AR experiences.
With Snapdragon Spaces, Qualcomm gives developers all the tools required to build immersive applications for AR headsets and get them straight to the consumer. The company claims that the platform offers developers “a robust machine perception technology that is optimized for performance and low power for the next generation of AR Glasses.”
Snapdragon Spaces provides environmental and user understanding capabilities to help developers create AR experiences that can sense and intelligently interact with the user and the environment. This includes technologies like spatial mapping and meshing, occlusion, plane detection, object and image recognition, local anchors and persistence, and scene understanding.
Qualcomm has welcomed Wikitude to its family to drive adoption, giving Wikitude’s existing community of over 150,000 developers access to its new AR development suite. The suite includes SDKs for most major 3D engines, including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, Niantic’s Lightship developer platform, etc. Snapdragon Spaces also supports app portability and unified workflows with Unity AR Foundation and Unity MARS, allowing developers to create experiences that integrate with the real world. Snapdragon Spaces is based on the Khronos OpenXR specification to enable app portability, and it’s the first AR platform optimized for AR Glasses tethered to smartphones with an OpenXR conformant runtime.
Qualcomm has partnered with AR hardware OEMs like Lenovo, Motorola, OPPO, and Xiaomi to support Snapdragon Spaces beginning in the first half of next year. The company is also working with global operators like Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, and T-Mobile to scale and bring AR glasses with Snapdragon Spaces support to the market next year.
To give developers further incentive to jump on the platform, Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Program. The program will support developers by giving them early access to platform technology, project funding, co-marketing and promotion, and hardware development kits.