Qualcomm announced its XR1-based intelligent AR viewer last year, before the “metaverse” became a buzzword.
It is now launching its new XR2-powered reference AR glasses so that hardware manufacturers can “enable immersive experiences that unlock the metaverse.”
But if we look beyond marketing words, the company’s new headphones have become wireless with a sleeker design.
What does the new headphones offer?
The company says it has a 40% thinner profile than the XR1’s reference design and has the same weight distribution to keep you comfortable for longer. Moreover, these glasses – designed by Goertek – weigh only 115 grams.
The new specifications feature two 1920 x1080 displays – one for each eye – with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. This can be convenient for displaying information in front of your eyes or enlarging a virtual monitor to work without motion blur.
To track your head and hands, it has two monochrome cameras – which adds six levels of tracking – and one RGB camera.
Some of these specifications and features correspond to the previous generation headphones. But one of the main distinguishing features here is that you don’t need to connect it to a phone, computer or processing washer.
The new intelligent AR viewer uses the Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 chip to allow wireless connectivity between headphones and a phone or computer.
It is compatible with Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, so it can take advantage of 6GHz frequency and 160MHz channels for high bandwidth and low latency connection. All this allows more data to be transferred between devices. So you can activate experiences like seamless video streaming to glasses with AR.
The company is also launching the XR FastConnect software package for application developers. This tries to reduce the latency between the cameras that capture the image and the headphones that display the processed image based on your actions.
Qualcomm says it has also enabled low-power modes with this platform, so developers can design their applications in a way that low-resource tasks don’t drain the battery.
Qualcomm wants to power the future of AR
So far, many companies, including Lenovo and Qualcomm, have unveiled cable-related AR headphones. On the other hand, companies such as Oppo, NReal and Snap have demonstrated wireless headphones.
Qualcomm believes that such headphones will be widely available in the next few years. And her prediction is not far off. We know that Google is working on translation-focused AR glasses, according to reports Meta will release its first AR headphones in 2024, and Apple has just unveiled its XR device at board members.
So we can expect a lot of action in this area. Qualcomm allows many phone manufacturers to power their devices and would expect many hardware or “metauniverse” companies to choose its AR platform for their products.
Qualcomm’s reference design for wireless AR intelligent viewers is available to several launch partners, and wider availability is coming in the next few months.