AR developer platform enables 'new frontier' of spatial computing

November 10, 2021 // By Rich Pell
AR developer platform enables 'new frontier' of spatial computing
Semiconductor and wireless telecommunications product developer Qualcomm Technologies has introduced a headworn augmented reality (AR) developer kit designed to enable the creation of immersive experiences that seamlessly blur the lines between physical and digital realities.

Offered as providing robust machine perception technology that is optimized for performance and low power for the next generation of AR glasses, the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform features environmental and user understanding capabilities that enable developers to create headworn AR experiences that can sense and intelligently interact with the user and adapt to their physical indoor spaces. Some of the key environmental understanding features include:

  • spatial mapping and meshing
  • occlusion
  • plane detection
  • object and image recognition and tracking
  • local anchors and persistence
  • scene understanding

The user understanding machine perception features include positional tracking and hand tracking. The company has acquired the team and certain technology assets from HINS SAS and its wholly owned subsidiary, Clay AIR, Inc., a provider of hand tracking and gesture recognition solutions, which allows developers the ability to create interactive experiences that have natural and intuitive user interactions with their hands.

In addition, says the company, it has welcomed AR technology provider Wikitude to the Qualcomm family. With the launch of Snapdragon Spaces, the existing community of 150K+ registered Wikitude AR developers can join in accelerating the transition from smartphone to headworn AR.

Snapdragon Spaces takes a direct-to-consumer approach that allows developers to build immersive applications for AR glasses and make them accessible to end users leveraging existing smartphone digital distribution stores globally. Snapdragon Spaces includes software developer kits (SDKs) for leading 3D Engines, including Epic Games’ Unreal Engine so developers can create experiences using familiar 3D tools and workflows like Unreal’s real-time 3D creation tool for photoreal visuals and immersive experience.

Niantic Inc.'s recently launched Lightship developer platform will integrate with Snapdragon Spaces to enable developers to create planet-scale AR experiences. The Lightship Platform will expand reach to outdoor headworn use cases and inspire people to explore outside, and to connect and play with others in real time through multi-player functions. This builds on the ongoing collaboration to create a reference design for AR

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