Snapdragon Spaces Blog

Expanding Snapdragon Spaces platform support to include MR and VR

SEPTEMBER 27, 2022

When we launched Snapdragon Spaces at AWE in June 2022, we set out to create a platform and ecosystem for headworn augmented reality that empowers developers to create immersive AR experiences built on open standards. Inspired by the excitement and innovation we’ve seen from you all building with Snapdragon Spaces worldwide, we are proud to be working with this innovative community shaping the future of the medium. While it’s still very early in the journey to a world where spatial computing is interwoven in our daily lives, the pace is accelerating each day, and Qualcomm is more committed than ever to making this our collective reality.

Snapdragon Spaces is evolving quickly, with 8 releases thus far in 2022 we are bringing new features every six weeks like Hand Tracking, persistent Local Anchors, and Hit Testing. We really value the feedback from the developer community, and want to hear your ideas – so please continue to share your thoughts and upvote features on the roadmap. We have also launched a Discord server for the community to connect and share. Feel free to stop by — we would love to learn more about you and your work in XR.

While we started our work with Snapdragon Spaces in augmented reality, our team knew that XR was evolving rapidly. And this means that virtual and augmented reality devices will begin to converge with the addition of video passthrough, or mixed reality (MR) features coming to VR headsets. Mixed reality enables experiences that blend augmented and virtual reality by adding stereo color cameras to a virtual reality headset and passing the video from those cameras through to the VR displays. This is a difficult problem to solve, and we have been working for multiple years optimizing camera and video image processing pipelines in Snapdragon-based XR Platforms to enable the highest quality and lowest latency mixed reality experiences.

For developers, mixed reality means that they will be able to create experiences on VR headsets that are much more like the AR experiences on optical see-through devices such as the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 AR glasses in the Snapdragon Spaces Dev Kit. In fact, we believe that developers should be able to have portability between the two. We are excited to share that Snapdragon Spaces will be adding support for mixed and virtual reality in early 2023. Our vision is to allow you as a developer to build mixed reality experiences on Snapdragon Spaces for VR/MR headsets and bring the same application to AR glasses or vice versa.

This will enable developers building Snapdragon Spaces experiences on augmented reality glasses to expand the number of devices they can reach with their app to include VR headsets with mixed reality. It will also allow VR developers who start experimenting with mixed reality to run the same application on augmented reality glasses. We believe this is an industry first and we are excited to be enabling this capability for Snapdragon Spaces developers soon.

Look out for more details about the VR/MR headsets we will be supporting with Snapdragon Spaces in the coming months, as well as information about how and when you can get started. To stay informed (if you are not already subscribed), please join our mailing list and Discord server. Thank you for your enthusiasm for XR, support for Snapdragon Spaces, and commitment to supporting open platforms and ecosystems in spatial computing.

Brian Vogelsang
Sr. Director, XR Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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