At the Augmented World Expo 2018, Qualcomm unveiled the new Snapdragon XR1 Platform designed just for the standalone AR and VR headsets. Qualcomm claims it to be the first ever first dedicated XR (Extended Reality) platform. Earlier this year, the company launched the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Reference Design as the successor to the Snapdragon VR820 Reference Design.
While its still early days in the space of AR and VR, Qualcomm seems to be totally convinced about the future growth. The company also mentioned that manufacturers like Meta, Vive, Vuzix, and Pico are already working on the XR1-based devices. The new Snapdragon XR1 Platform will be offering high quality AR/VR experience. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 845 VR is said to offer premium quality experience at a higher price tag.
The Snapdragon XR1 will comes packed with ARM-based Kryo CPU, Hexagon vector processor, Adreno GPU, Spectra ISP, and AI Engine. This platform will be featuring an advanced XR software service layer, machine learning software, and Snapdragon XR SDK. It also supports up to Ultra HD 4K playback at 60 fps. The dedicated AI engine will be responsible for the on-device processing.
Talking about the audio, the XR1 Platform uses Qualcomm’s Aqstic and aptX audio technologies for Hi-Fi audio experience, Bluetooth playback, and voice assistance. The XR1-based devices only has 3DoF for tracking the roll, yaw, and pitch of a person’s head. While the Snapdragon 845 VR-based devices come with ultrasonic and hand-tracking controllers, the XR1-based units only get 6DoF controllers.
In 20 milliseconds or less, the XR1-based headsets can capture, process, render, and display the content in AR. This new platform also supports graphics APIs like Vulkan, OpenGL, and OpenCL. We will be seeing the XR1-based devices by the end of 2018 or in early 2019.