Niantic shows off AR headset prototype powered by Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1

On the 2022 Snapdragon Summit, Niantic took the stage immediately to point out off the “newest iteration” of its out of doors AR headset reference design. The corporate, which was spun out of Google in 2015 as a part of Alphabet reorganization, is most identified for Pokémon Go.

The design is “not last” with a comparatively slim see-through show, whereas different compute {hardware} appears to be like to be housed in a rear piece behind your head. The 2 items are related with a fabric-like band.  

Niantic’s first prototype (seen under) was powered by the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 1 that’s tethered by way of wires to a cellphone and battery. “Optimized for [Niantic’s] out of doors use case,” there are two very obvious cameras on the stems.

The {hardware} reference design showcases the potential for outdoor-capable AR headsets that may orient themselves utilizing the Niantic map and render info and digital worlds on prime of the bodily world. 


First (XR2) prototype

On Niantic’s Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1-powered reference design, the cameras are way more hidden, primarily on the bridge of the headset however there are additionally lenses on all sides. Niantic says it recognized 5 crucial necessities from person suggestions, beginning with being snug. The corporate is concentrating on “lengthy play classes” which can be described as lasting 1-2 hours with a weight beneath 250 grams. 

Providing a wi-fi design was wanted so wires “[don’t] get in the way in which of lively play.” Different necessities have been moveable, compact, and highly effective, with Niantic saying it needs to “actually increase the world.”  

Qualcomm described the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 as its first purpose-built AR chip after earlier generations centered on providing a chip that supported each augmented and digital actuality use instances. It includes a “multi-chip distributed processing structure” consisting of an AR processor, AR co-processor, and connectivity (to a cellphone or PC “host” system) that aren’t on one board, however relatively positioned throughout the 2 facet stems and even the bridge of the glasses.

Niantic shared “actual footage by the lens of [its] prototype units that demonstrates the experiences which can be already in improvement immediately.” Persons are utilizing a handheld controller to level and choose the augmented/digital content material.

There are a number of gaming use instances, however notable is guided navigation (like Google Maps Live View) and one demo that overlays enterprise info (espresso store) over a real-life map.

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Apart from Niantic, Qualcomm mentioned Lenovo, LG, Nreal, OPPO, Pico, QONOQ, Rokid, Sharp, TCL, Tencent, Vuzix, and Xiaomi are in “varied levels of improvement” with AR2 Gen 1.

In the meantime, Microsoft has been collaborating with Qualcomm on the AR2 Gen 1 for some time, with Redmond positioning its cloud (Azure) as serving to energy AR experiences.


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