In just two years, Qualcomm’s smart eyewear technology has advanced significantly. The Wireless AR Smart Viewer Reference Design is a next-generation pair of augmented reality glasses designed to assist hardware partners in developing their own immersive eyewear. Despite having a newer (albeit slightly older) Snapdragon XR2 platform, it’s 40 percent slimmer and wirelessly tethers to a host PC, phone, or puck. When you add in greater weight distribution, the device should be a lot more comfortable than its predecessor, even if it won’t win any fashion awards.
Goertek is the creator of the revolutionary Smart Viewer. It’s now only available to a few manufacturing partners, but that will change in the coming months. It connects to a phone or computer and uses tracking cameras and projections powered by micro-OLED screens to create mixed reality experiences with full head and hand tracking. Qualcomm has kept the old 1920×1080 resolution and 90Hz refresh rate, but the field of view has been reduced from 45 degrees to 40 degrees diagonally. Read also: The Top Best Android Phones for 2022
This is significantly less than the Magic Leap 2, which has a viewing angle closer to 70 degrees. The Smart Viewer, on the other hand, has a thinner profile than the wired Smart Viewer or most competitors. Its frames are 15.6mm thick, compared to about 25mm for the wired version, lessening the bug-eyed appearance of AR glasses. (With a wider FOV, this shallower design, which uses freeform optics, might be considerably more difficult to execute. Also read: HP Spectre X360 13t – Full Review and Benchmarks
It weighs 115 grams, which is slightly more than the 106-gram Nreal Light glasses, but much less than Apple’s anticipated 150-gram AR/VR headgear and significantly less than VR headsets like the 503-gram Meta Quest 2.
We weren’t able to test the new Smart Viewer, and since manufacturers could alter the system to their own specs, consumers may never buy hardware that looks exactly like the reference design. While Swart stated that Qualcomm is working with “at least four” manufacturers, he did not name them or provide an estimate for when the headset will be commercialized.
However, Qualcomm’s previous designs have anchored items like as the Nreal Light and Lenovo ThinkReality A3 glasses, so it’s a fair representation of what wireless headsets can look like in the months and years ahead.