Qualcomm is one of the major manufacturers of mobile phone processors in the market today. Naturally, the company provides components for AR devices as well. After all, the form factor serves them well. Ahead of the Augmented World Expo, Qualcomm briefed people about the future of AR technology. As we see in a post from UploadVR, the company believes in two future waves of the technology. A tethered version of the XR devices which are connected to phones, first with wires, then wirelessly. Eventually, they believe in standalone XR devices
The announcement was divided into two major chunks. Firstly, the XR tethered viewers and next: the standalone ones.
Qualcomm expects standalone XR glasses that look like today’s spectacles but have their own processing and 5G capabilities are five to 10 years off. Via @VentureBeat https://t.co/y9HAi1pT6E pic.twitter.com/DIlM4snxIB
— UploadVR (@UploadVR) May 26, 2020
Tethered XR Viewers
Of course, mixed reality is the future and the company thinks so too. They would be sharing specs and supporting software for the upcoming devices with smartphone manufacturers. This would be shared with the customers as well. They would identify these products with a special brand badge. About 9 companies have been involved in making XR viewers and other OEMs and carrier companies are backing the project. According to Qualcomm, in the next 1-4 years, we’d be seeing these tethered devices with USB cables attached to the smartphones. These would get their data from smartphones. Consequently, there would be work done on wirelessly tethered viewers too. These would connect with WiFi 6E technology which uses the 6GHz spectrum. This would mark the transition for the cabled viewers to wireless ones.
Untethered/Standalone XR Viewers
Then we come to the untethered/Standalone XR Viewers. Unlike their predecessors, these devices would be self-reliant. Not only would these work on their own chips and their own 5G connections but their form factor would evolve too. But, the company added, these are a little farther into the future than we may like. The company predicts in about 10-15 years, we may see these products starting to show up.
As of now, companies such as Verizon are working hard to develop the technology required to evolve these XR spectacles. Currently, the form factor of these mixed reality devices, headgear is pretty overwhelming. The ultimate goal is to make this into something more natural-looking, like normal spectacles for example. Perhaps we’d see these products come out even sooner with the exponential increase in technology and innovation. Perhaps, only time will tell for sure.