Qualcomm announced the launch of its XR2 platform, an upgrade to its extended reality platform (XR), recently at the Snapdragon Tech Summit 2019 that’s being held in Hawaii. According to Qualcomm, it’s the “world’s first 5G-supported extended reality (XR) platform” and is aimed to power some of the very first 5G mixed reality headsets.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 platform will now be aimed towards mainstream users, while the XR2 platform is positioned as more of a premium extended reality product. XR2 comes with a slew of new, custom, and unique features that can be leveraged to create applications that are meant for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). It is offers twice the CPU and GPU performance of the 835, over four times more bandwidth, six times higher video resolution, and eleven times faster AI improvement.
The platform would support seven concurrent cameras and a dedicated computer vision processor. These cameras can also track the head, eyes and lips with the help of 26-point skeletal hand tracking. It further supports display panels with a 3K by 3K resolution per-eye at 90fps and it’s also the first XR platform that supports 8K 360 degree videos at 60fps where it makes use of custom silicon to keep the latency of these platforms low. Moreover, there’s a 3D spatial sound that’s built on a custom Qualcomm Hexagon DSP to support voice activation and context detection.
“5G is going to be crucial for XR. We’ve spoken about this in the past, that XRS video is the killer use case for 5G […], next year […], given that this is the world’s first 5G access platform, we are excited to see how different content developers, as well as different video streaming services with high-resolution videos, may be able to provide their high-bandwidth content on devices built on XR2,” Hiren Bhinde,director of product Management at Qualcomm, told TechCrunch.
Niantic Labs, developers of the popular game Pokémon Go also announced that they’re working with Qualcomm towards building the ‘Niantic Real World Platform’.