CES 2022: Qualcomm & Microsoft team up to create custom chips for AR glasses

Qualcomm announced at Tuesday’s CES 2022 keynote its intention to integrate software platforms and Microsoft.

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During Tuesday’s CES 2022 keynote speech, Qualcomm’s CEO Cristiano amon said that Microsoft and Qualcomm were partnering to create a custom chip suitable for next-generation augmented realities glasses.

Amon said, “We’ve been talking since years about the possibility to have wearable AR devices that will gain scaling.” “And we integrate into that chip platform software of both companies with Microsoft Mesh, and the newly announced Qualcomm Snapdragon SpacesXR developer platform. Snapdragon Spaces will be fully integrated in Microsoft Mesh and will be available for next generation lightweight glasses.

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This collaboration and future chip will power a new integration between lightweight, energy-efficient glasses and Mesh, Microsoft’s upcoming metaverse platform. This custom chip will allow users to access Microsoft’s apps. It allows them to connect to a virtual world using multiple devices such as mobile phones, PCs and virtual reality headsets. 

Additionally, users can use the combination of the chips and Microsoft Mesh to collaborate across work platforms like Microsoft Teams using virtual likenesses.

With the Snapdragon SpacesXR platform, users can use spatial mapping to overlay digital objects onto the space. Spaces XR also includes features like object recognition, positional tracking, and hand tracking. This allows users to manipulate spaces with hand gestures.

Qualcomm has successfully tackled AR and VR using its chips in the past. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 now powers Microsoft Holelens 2 headsets and Oculus Quest 2 headsets, both powered by the Snapdragon XR2 processor.

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“Our goal is to inspire and empower others to collectively work to develop the metaverse future–a future that is grounded in trust and innovation,” Rubén Caballero, corporate vice president for mixed reality at Microsoft, said in a statement. Microsoft Mesh is a service that we have committed to delivering the best and most complete set of capabilities to enable metaverses to blend the digital and physical worlds. It will also provide a sense of shared presence across devices. We look forward working with Qualcomm Technologies to unlock the promise for the metaverse.

Qualcomm and Microsoft have not yet provided any timelines for when the chips or headsets will be available. However, with this new collaboration, both companies stated that they are committed in providing their customers with a more connected experience through technology.

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