Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon Smart Viewer reference design

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Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled the Snapdragon Smart Viewer Reference Design built on the Snapdragon XR1 Platform at this year's Augmented World Expo (AWE).

Taking into account the needs of both OEMs and the company's technology ecosystem partners, the Snapdragon Smart Viewer Reference Design is a VR form factor, built in collaboration with GoerTek, and has been designed to help decrease product development time of both AR and VR Smart Viewers.

"The Snapdragon Smart Viewer takes advantage of the XR1 processing power and allows both consumers and the enterprise to access an enhanced content offering," explained Hugo Swart, head of XR at Qualcomm. "By distributing the workload and tapping into the compute power of host devices tethering to users' smartphones or PC, the reference design's additional features like eye tracking and 6DoF controllers help unlock a deeper level of XR immersion."

Key features include:

Movement Tracking: The Smart Viewer Reference Design features six-degrees of freedom (6DoF) movement for room scale XR experiences. With two dedicated 6DoF cameras for body tracking, users can walk around without the need for external motion sensors.

Hand Tracking: It supports full hand tracking and gesture tracking - tap, zoom, pinch, scroll - which could be used for interactions with virtual objects.

Eye Tracking: To reduce power consumption using foveated rendering, Qualcomm worked with Tobii to have integrated eye tracking. This provides superior intuitive interfaces and enables gaze direction for fast interactions within the virtual environment.

6DoF Controllers: Controllers are fundamental for interaction especially in VR gaming and the Smart Viewer provides 6DoF controllers with the ability to support vision-based controllers for VR gaming and productivity applications.

Display: The display panel - built with JDI - enables consumers to be immersed in their favourite content by supporting smooth experiences with 72Hz refresh rate and 2K resolution per eye.

Standalone Mode: In addition to tethering the headset via USB-C to a host device, the Snapdragon Smart Viewer Reference Design also delivers high-quality experiences in a ‘standalone mode’, where all the computing is done directly on the device. It taps into the XR1 heterogeneous compute architecture, including the Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Adreno GPU, Hexagon DSP and Qualcomm AI Engine for high performance VR applications like simple games, video streaming and productivity applications all running at low power consumption.