Augmented Reality

The mobile future of augmented reality.

Augmented Reality (AR) will be the next mobile computing platform, seamlessly merging the real world with virtual objects to support realistic, intelligent, and personalized experiences. Making this vision possible requires the next level of immersion, cognition, and connectivity within the thermal and power envelope of a wearable glasses. It won’t be easy, but Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely positioned to support superior AR experiences by designing for the extreme requirements of mobile AR. The stars are aligning for AR, get ready!

The next mobile computing platform.

As the natural evolution from how we use smartphones today, AR is the next step toward more mobile, personalized, and intuitive devices. Imagine the potential of an augmented world where you automatically see and hear exactly what you want with AR glasses that are always-on, always-available, and hands free. The possibilities are endless with AR!

Transforming the way we live

AR will transform the way we live and interact with the world. It will offer unprecedented experiences, changing how we play, explore, communicate, work, and thrive. AR will serve a broad spectrum of roles in daily life, from children playing with virtual characters to professionals collaborating on a shared design.

Revolutionizing industries and enterprises

AR will also revolutionize industries and enterprises, offering increased productivity, efficiency, and safety. For example, AR will provide industrial & manufacturing with real-time factory diagnostics, and healthcare with surgical training and enhanced visualization.

Mobile technologies are accelerating AR adoption.

AR is here today, and it’s thanks to the same mobile technologies that power our smartphones. The mobile industry has already driven huge technology advancements in multimedia & cognitive technologies, display & sensor technologies, connectivity, and power & thermal efficiency — and it will only continue. For example, smartphones with additional sensors and advanced technology, like Google Tango, already offer enhanced augmentation. The characteristics of the mobile industry make the proliferation of new technologies very feasible, which will accelerate AR adoption to the masses and will make our vision of AR possible.


Innovation at scale provides both cutting edge technology and cost advantages

Rapid design cycles

Rapid design cycles bring fast adoption of cutting edge technologies

Mass adoption

As a result of mass adoption of smartphone, mainstream consumers are adventurous and willing to try new things

Premium AR has extreme requirements.

Premium mobile AR experiences that are realistic, intelligent, and personalized require the next level of immersion, cognition, and connectivity. Adding to the complexity, low power and thermals are required to create sleek, lightweight, and stylish AR glasses that are always-on and work anywhere.



Being great at VR is the foundation for creating truly immersive AR experiences. For immersion, AR shares requirements similar to VR, but it also introduces additional requirements to seamlessly integrate virtual objects with the real world. AR places extreme requirements on several dimensions of the 3 pillars of immersion: visual quality, sound quality, and intuitive interactions

  • AR needs to seamlessly anchor virtual objects to the real world,  occlude them appropriately, and add realistic lighting to them.
  • AR not only requires 3D audio so that sounds from virtual objects comes from the proper location, but also requires understanding the environment to create proper reverberation of those virtual sounds.
  • AR requires hands-free, multimodal, adaptive user interfaces, such as speech and gestures, that are personalized and natural for the usage scenario.


Cognitive technologies, like machine learning, computer vision, and sensor processing, are required to support realistic, intelligent, and personalized AR experiences. These technologies are used to understand the real world, learn our preferences, and take appropriate actions while also providing security & privacy. 


Sensors are being used to provide intelligence, whether it is the camera to see the world or the microphone to hear the world. In essence. the combination of sensor data, on-device data from other apps, and data from the connected cloud will enable the next level of contextual intelligence. AR will go beyond providing generic information to ultimately inferring context, anticipating needs, and autonomously taking actions—it will truly enhance our lives.



AR requires the next level of ubiquitous connectivity, starting with Gigabit LTE and moving towards 5G multi-mode devices. Imagine what the future might look like with AR. We are going to have the mass adoption of highly mobile, intelligent, always-on AR glasses. To meet this challenge, AR requires connectivity solutions that:

  • Provide extreme capacity: AR drives the need to efficiently grow wireless capacity. Rich immersive visuals and contextual data will be constantly consumed and shared by each pair of AR glasses. And when AR reaches mass adoption, concurrency of usage will act as a throughput multiplier.

  • Connect everything: For more intelligent and personalized user experiences, AR requires gathering knowledge from the billions of IoT devices. For example, you’ll be seamlessly navigated based on real-time traffic to an open parking space in a crowded parking lot.

  • And enable cloud computing: Cloud computing complements on-device processing, and both are needed for AR depending on the use case. Ubiquitous connectivity will allow AR to have the best of both worlds.

Qualcomm Technologies is making mobile AR a reality.

Building on our leadership in virtual reality, cognitive technologies, and connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely positioned to deliver superior mobile AR at low power. We’re developing the foundational technology required for AR, such as immersive 3D graphics, computer vision, machine learning, intuitive security, and 5G technologies. By taking a system approach and custom designing specialized engines across the SoC, Snapdragon processors are engineered to provide an efficient heterogeneous computing solution that is optimized from end-to-end. We’re also working with the ecosystem and investing in leading AR companies — all in an effort to make our vision of AR a reality sooner.

Stay informed with our mobile computing newsletter.


Webinar: VR and AR are pushing connectivity limits - what role will 5G play

May 19, 2017


Webinar: The Mobile Future of Augmented Reality

May 14, 2018


Snapdragon 821 processor: powering the new ASUS ZenFone AR

Jan 4, 2017


Augmented Reality to Enhance Education in San Diego

Jun 7, 2013


MURALI: Engineer, R&D / Augmented Reality

Mar 8, 2012


The Future of Innovation: Steve Mollenkopf

Jan 20, 2012


CES Keynote Recap from Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs

Jan 12, 2012


The latest