Qualcomm is making a processor just for smart glasses

And a whole lot of manufacturers are already working on devices with it.

This story was originally published on WhistleOut Australia.

Alex Choros
Group Reviews Editor
Read More
November 16, 2022
1 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

Qualcomm today announced the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1, a chipset designed to power augmented reality smart glasses. The specialised processor is likely to increase the number of smart glasses on the market, with Qualcomm saying OPPO, Lenovo, LG, TCL, Tencent, Sharp, Nreal, Pico (owned by TikTok parent company Bytedance), QOQOQ, Vuzix, and Xiaomi all have products in various stages of development.

Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1

The Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 is specifically designed for augmented reality experiences, rather than virtual reality. As such, Qualcomm has prioritised making the chip smaller and more energy efficient when compared to the processors it makes for headsets like the Meta Quest 2. The Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 can also offload more complex data to a companion phone or computer. This in turn should lead to more streamline glasses designs, especially when compared to virtual reality headsets.

"We built Snapdragon AR2 to address the unique challenges of headworn AR and provide industry-leading processing, artificial intelligence, and connectivity that can fit inside a stylish form factor," said Qualcomm vice president of extended reality product management Hugo Swart.

"With the technical and physical requirements for virtual reality and augmented reality diverging, Snapdragon AR2 represents another metaverse-defining platform in our extended reality portfolio to help our OEM partners revolutionize augmented reality glasses."

On the technical front, the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 supports up to nine concurrent cameras, eye tracking and iris authentication, and WiFi 7. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 will offer latency of less than 2ms between the glasses and a connected device.

Qualcomm chips have already been used in smart glasses-style products like Meta's (formerly Facebook) Ray Ban Stories.

At this stage, there's no timeline for when smart glasses powered by the Snapdragon AR2 Gen 1 are likely to be available. None of the manufacturers using the chipset have formally announced upcoming smart glasses.

Manufacturers including OPPO and TCL have already launched initial attempts at smart glasses. OPPO's smart glasses aren't available in Australia however and are only compatible with OPPO phones. TCL's smart glasses are more so designed to give you a private screen, rather than something you wear all the time.

Apple is expected to enter the space next year with an augmented reality headset. It reported also has a pair of augmented reality smart glasses in the pipeline, rumoured for 2024.

Disclosure: This author attended Snapdragon Summit as a guest of Qualcomm

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

Related Articles

soundcore space q45
Soundcore Space Q45 review: love is blind, not deaf
First impressions last - they need to count.
Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
Vodafone has the best Pixel 7 deal, but Optus has the weirdest
Australia's big three are giving Pixel fans plenty of deals to pick between.
This discount makes the Samsung S20 FE the best sub-$300 phone right now
Samsung's take on the iPhone SE is less than $300 for Black Friday.
Best Gaming Laptops you can buy in Australia
The best gaming laptops you can buy in 2022
Gaming laptop sales are at an all-time high so it's a good time to review...