New design for augmented reality glasses from Qualcomm

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Chip manufacturer Qualcomm has unveiled the reference augmented reality glasses design, called the XR1 Smart Viewer. The glasses can be connected to a smartphone or a PC via the USB-C port. Intended to be lightweight and visually similar to a pair of sunglasses, the XR1 Smart Viewer brings features such as hand tracking and spatial awareness. The first devices developed on reference design will be available in mid-2021.

With end users in focus, XR1 is defined as a “must-have accessory” for PC and smartphones. Qualcomm prefers to show its design as a complementary accessory rather than a standalone product. The glasses have two 1920 x 1080 pixel OLED screens with a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Thanks to the camera system, it is possible to add a virtual layer on top of the real world.

The camera setup paves the way for the use of hand tracking as a control tool. The camera system, which also allows tracking the planes around, also provides the opportunity to fix more than one PC screen on a virtual wall. The viewing angle of the XR1 is limited, just like other augmented reality glasses. Users are only offered a 45-degree viewing angle.

Lenovo announced the augmented reality glasses ThinkReality A3, which it developed on the XR1 Smart Viewer, at CES 2021 last month. The ThinkReality A3 will be available mid-year. A3 is considered as a follower of A9, released in 2019 and focused on corporate use.

The Qualcomm XR1 Smart Viewer will give many companies the opportunity to have a say in the augmented reality market. However, it should not be forgotten that some big names are preparing to enter this market. It is said that Facebook, which announces its interest in this issue, has prepared an augmented reality glasses together with Ray-Ban. It has been talked about for a long time that Apple is also working on smart glasses.

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