CES 2022: Qualcomm and Microsoft Working on a Custom Chip for AR Glasses

ar glasses microsoft qualcomm collab

At the ongoing CES 2022 event in Las Vegas, Qualcomm has announced a partnership with Microsoft to further their Augmented Reality (AR) vision. The collaboration will see both the companies work together to develop a custom AR chip for future AR Glasses, which will incorporate both the Microsoft Mesh and Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer platforms.

Qualcomm and Microsoft Make Way for the AR Era

The new custom augmented reality Snapdragon chip will be for power-efficient and lightweight AR Glasses that will open doors for rich and immersive experiences. The partnership is said to be a reflection of both Qualcomm and Microsoft’s “shared commitment to XR and the metaverse.”

The future custom chip will include both the Microsoft Mesh and the new Snapdragon Spaces XR platform, both of which try to provide mixed reality experiences across various devices.

While Mesh has support for a cross-platform VR/ AR system for virtual reality headsets, tablets, smartphones, and PCs, the Snapdragon platform is meant to create more AR-specific apps and even convert a Snapdragon chipset-powered phone as the “secondary screen” for a mixed reality experience. It will be interesting to see how these two merge to create a more immersive AR/ VR experience in the future.

Hugo Swart, Vice President and General Manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc, in a press release said, “Qualcomm Technologies’ core XR strategy has always been delivering the most cutting-edge technology, purpose-built XR chipsets, and enabling the ecosystem with our software platforms and hardware reference designs. We are thrilled to work with Microsoft to help expand and scale the adoption of AR hardware and software across the entire industry.”

For those who don’t know, Microsoft and Qualcomm have worked together on AR projects in the past as well. The Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed reality headset that launched back in 2019 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chipset. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR2 chip is also seen on the Oculus Quest 2. This partnership could be a meaningful step towards building hardware for the metaverse in the coming years.

Featured Image Courtesy: Qualcomm/YouTube

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