Press Note

Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform Launches to Create Headworn AR Experiences that Adapt to the Spaces Around Us

Designed with a developer-first approach, the platform combines proven technology and an open ecosystem to usher in a new frontier of spatial computing

Nov 9, 2021SANTA CLARA

Qualcomm products mentioned within this press release are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. introduces Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, a headworn Augmented Reality (AR) developer kit to enable the creation of immersive experiences that seamlessly blur the lines between our physical and digital realities. With proven technology and an open, cross-device horizontal platform and ecosystem, Snapdragon Spaces delivers the tools to bring developers’ ideas to life and revolutionize the possibilities of headworn AR. Snapdragon Spaces is in early access with select developers and is expected to be generally available in the Spring of 2022.

Proven Technology and Innovation

Qualcomm Technologies is a pioneer in Augmented Reality with over a decade of AR research and development.  Utilizing these years of innovation and expertise, Snapdragon Spaces offers robust machine perception technology that is optimized for performance and low power for the next generation of AR glasses. The Snapdragon Spaces platform provides environmental and user understanding capabilities that give developers the tools to create headworn AR experiences that can sense and intelligently interact with the user and adapt to their physical indoor spaces.  Some of the marquee environmental understanding features include spatial mapping and meshing, occlusion, plane detection, object and image recognition and tracking, local anchors and persistence, and scene understanding. The user understanding machine perception features include positional tracking and hand tracking.

Qualcomm Technologies 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.

To continue to drive AR technology innovation, Qualcomm Technologies has welcomed Wikitude, a world-class AR technology provider to the Qualcomm family. With the launch of Snapdragon Spaces, the existing community of 150K+ registered Wikitude™ AR developers can join us in accelerating the transition from smartphone to headworn AR.

 

Open Cross-device Platform and Ecosystem

Reducing development and commercialization friction for the developer is at the heart of Snapdragon Spaces. The platform 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 Lightship developer platform, launched this week, 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 headsets to accelerate AR software and hardware development. The Snapdragon Spaces platform also supports app portability and unified workflows with Unity AR Foundation and Unity MARS, enabling developers on the platform to create experiences that fully integrate with the real world.  Snapdragon Spaces is based on the Khronos® OpenXR specification to enable application portability and is the first headworn AR platform optimized for AR Glasses tethered to smartphones with an OpenXR conformant runtime.

Leading smartphone and AR hardware OEMs including Lenovo, Motorola, OPPO, and Xiaomi are initial partners to support Snapdragon Spaces in 2022, with the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses paired with a Motorola Smartphone as the first to commercialize Snapdragon Spaces. Qualcomm Technologies is also working with an ecosystem of global operators, including Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, INC.  and T-Mobile U.S., with more global operators to be announced later. The operators will help scale and bring AR glasses tethered to smartphones supporting Snapdragon Spaces to commercialization starting next year. To help fuel innovation and application development in the U.S. and Europe, both T-Mobile U.S. and Deutsche Telekom will support Snapdragon Spaces with their T-Mobile Accelerator innovation programs for developers of tech incubator hubraum.

Developer-first AR Platform

Snapdragon Spaces enables developers to build 3D applications for AR glasses from scratch or simply add headworn AR features to existing Android smartphone applications to drive a unified, multi-screen experience between the smartphone screen in 2D and the real world in 3D.  Developers will also receive a robust resource library that includes documentation, sample code, tutorials, knowledge bases, and tools to help accelerate their development. Snapdragon Spaces is in early access with innovative AR developers including Felix & Paul Studios, holo|one, Overlay, Scope AR, TRIPP, Tiny Rebel Games, NZXR, forwARdgame, Resolution Games, and Trigger Global.

Launching today is the Snapdragon Spaces™ Pathfinder Program, designed to support AR innovators through early access to platform technology, project funding, co-marketing and promotion, and hardware development kits to help grow an active community of Snapdragon Spaces developers. Interested developers can learn more and apply to the program by visiting the Snapdragon Spaces product page .

“The Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform underscores our commitment to empowering developers to explore bravely and create confidently, paving the way to a new frontier of spatial computing,” said Hugo Swart, vice president and general manager of XR, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon Spaces is designed to support the democratization of XR by taking a horizontal, open channel approach so developers can rapidly bring their ideas to life and reach a wide range of end users. We welcome developers to join us in this journey to reimagine reality.”

 

Supporting Quotes

Epic

"At Epic we are working to build an open metaverse where creators can conceive, share, and deliver incredible real-time 3D experiences and find success through favorable business models. Today we're thrilled to be here with Qualcomm Technologies for the launch of Snapdragon Spaces, supporting their developer-first approach with Epic MegaGrants for AR glasses creators -- the first project being with the award-winning team at Felix & Paul,” said Marc Petit, Vice President and GM, Unreal Engine, Epic Games. “Integrating Unreal Engine with Snapdragon Spaces will empower creators to build beautiful, high-fidelity AR apps that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. We look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies to accelerate the dynamic, socially connected worlds of the future."

Unity

“In a world filled with creators, inventors, and innovators, the metaverse simply can’t exist as a walled garden, and we feel that Snapdragon Spaces brings us closer to that reality,” said Timoni West, Vice-President of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Unity. “The utilization of AR Foundation and Unity MARS companion app with Snapdragon Spaces enables creators to quickly and easily make great immersive experiences that use real-world data. By building intelligent AR apps that are context-aware, Unity can focus on launching and supporting products that bring down technological barriers, to enable anyone to build environments that interact with the real world.”

Niantic

"We share a common vision with our AR hardware partner Qualcomm Technologies for creating experiences that fuse the digital and real worlds," said John Hanke, Founder and CEO of Niantic. “What Snapdragon Spaces will achieve for people with AR glasses indoors complements our goal for developers to build planet scale AR applications on multiple devices and form factors with Niantic’s Lightship Platform.  We look forward to working together with Qualcomm Technologies to accelerate AR hardware and software adoption across the industry.”

Deutsche Telekom

“Deutsche Telekom engagement in augmented and virtual reality had already several successful XR product launches for both consumer and business customers,” said Sean Seaton, Head of Group Partnerships and Devices, Deutsche Telekom AG. “Our ambition is to actively support and accelerate the Snapdragon Spaces platform with the best of our expertise and indispensable assets we have: 5G Network, content & services and hubraum, our developer and tech incubation arm, which successfully executed world class innovation programs with developers. We are excited to push headworn AR together with the power of T-Mobile USA and other leading Telcos towards the next level.”

Khronos Group

“In its mission to support rapidly evolving efforts in augmented and virtual reality and to accelerate industry growth of commercially deployed XR innovations, Khronos’s OpenXR empowers developers to build cross-platform applications and enables hardware vendors access to a wider array of applications. Qualcomm Technologies’ innovation and commitment to building a mobile-based, headworn AR platform with support for OpenXR is a great win for the XR ecosystem. We’re excited to see Snapdragon Spaces advance new, headworn AR development and enable developers to expand the open metaverse,” said Brent Insko, OpenXR Working Group Chair.

Lenovo

“Lenovo is pleased to expand our collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and announce the ThinkReality A3 as the first AR smart glasses platform to support Snapdragon Spaces,” said Jon Pershke, Vice President of Strategy and Emerging Business, Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group. “Customers are responding very favorably to the power and versatility of our new smart glasses, which connect today to the Moto g100 smart phone and select Lenovo PCs. Snapdragon Spaces will help the developer community and our customers create even more value in their AR solutions and expand the capabilities on mobile devices coming to market early next year.”

Motorola

“Empowering people with innovative mobile experiences is at Motorola’s core. Snapdragon Spaces brings the industry one step closer to bringing game changing AR content to a broad range of customers.” Said Jeff Snow, General Manager of Product, Motorola. “Motorola is proud to expand its collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and provide powerful smartphones for developers building on the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform.”

NTT DOCOMO, INC. 

“We believe that Snapdragon Spaces addresses the developer issue of fragmentation. This will help accelerate adoption of the use-cases that our customers want to see in AR” said Seiji Abe, General Manager of Product Department, NTT DOCOMO, INC. “XR has the potential to change the current paradigm and create a new communication culture in the 5G era. Headworn AR use-cases are a great example of the need for high bandwidth, low latency that our 5G networks provide. As a network operator, DOCOMO is passionate about contributing to the development of the XR domain in the Japanese market through a collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies with Snapdragon Spaces.”

Oppo

"Utilizing Snapdragon Spaces, we look forward to helping to bring compelling spatial experiences and devices to the market, to help reimagine the possibilities of headworn AR,” said Levin Liu, OPPO Vice President and President of OPPO Research Institute.

T Mobile U.S.

“5G is powering more immersive experiences that better connect us to people and things around the world, and glasses will be one of the first disruptive new product categories,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “AR glasses will make a real impact for both businesses and consumers, but first we need to build the ecosystem of developers that will bring new applications to life and Snapdragon Spaces is a critical step in making this happen.” 

 ViacomCBS

“At ViacomCBS, we continuously seek new ways to transform how our audience can experience our unique portfolio of network, studio, and streaming entertainment,” said Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, ViacomCBS. “Snapdragon Spaces unlocks great opportunity for a new, head worn augmented reality future where entertainment will go beyond traditional screens and offer a new space to entertain, inform and empower our audiences.”

XIAOMI

“We are looking forward to enabling headworn AR application developers to reach maximum audiences through the open platform of Snapdragon Spaces and our future Snapdragon Space enabled devices,” said XueZhong Zeng, SVP of XIAOMI.

Snapdragon and Snapdragon Spaces are trademarks or registered trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

Snapdragon Spaces is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

LENOVO and THINKREALITY are trademarks of Lenovo. MOTOROLA, the Stylized M Logo, MOTO and the MOTO family of marks are trademarks of Motorola Trademark Holdings, LLC.

Snapdragon Spaces is based on a published Khronos® Specification and has been submitted to, and expected to pass, the Khronos Conformance Process.  Current conformance status can be found at www.khronos.org/conformance.

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