Enter, then, the Snapdragon AR Gen 1 Platform. Part of Qualcomm’s Extended Reality portfolio, it’s designed to be super-frugal as well as super-slim. Enough, in fact, to fit inside an almost-mainstream pair of glasses.

That’s easier said than done. To achieve it, Qualcomm split its new platform into three. The main AR processor is in one arm of the frame, responsible for things like running the displays and aggregating video from up to 9 cameras. It’s 40% smaller than the Snapdragon XR2 in the Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design, and Qualcomm says it packs 2.5x the AI performance despite using half the power.

Then there’s an AI Coprocessor, which is mounted in the bridge of the glasses. It pulls together the camera and sensor data, uses iris authentication for security, and handles eye tracking. The latter can be used for foveate rendering: maximizing the resolution of the digital graphics only where the wearer is actually looking, to save on power consumption.

Finally, there’s a connectivity module in the other arm. That uses the FastConnect 7800 system for Wi-Fi 7, which forms the basis of the link between the smart glasses and a host device such as a smartphone. With under 2ms latency, the onboard chips can do early processing of things likeĀ 6DOF and camera-based positioning, pass that to the app running on a smartphone, and then render what’s transferred back for the wearer to see.

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