February 28, 2020
Qualcomm and ZeroLight are launching an end-to-end solution that uses the former’s 5G-ready Snapdragon XR2 mixed reality chipset to offer Boundless XR for high-bandwidth wireless connection for mixed reality headsets. Aimed at the enterprise market, Boundless XR will enable developers to create lightweight, low-power headsets with the rendering power of a 300-watt computer. The solution relies on WiGig (60GHz Wi-Fi) or 5G, if there are nearby 5G base stations, something that enterprises could access via private 5G networks.
VentureBeat reports that, “Qualcomm provides the reference design for XR2-based headsets and chips for 5G network hardware, while ZeroLight delivers the mixed reality application and edge cloud rendering server for the private 5G network.” It also notes that, “rather than waiting for carrier-provided 5G infrastructure, this end-to-end 5G network will operate fully within the enterprise’s premises.”
Real-time rendering, VB adds, “can be split between [the headset and edge cloud server], with the headset handling input tracking and some latency-sensitive, low-power tasks while the server does heavier lifting.”
ZeroLight, which uses Nvidia PC-based rendering hardware and CloudXR streaming to the 5G network, pioneered wireless mixed reality solutions for the premium automotive industry, moving “all the hardware except the small headset off the show floor, freeing customers to move around.” Its retail demonstration enables a customer to select customization of Pagani vehicles, choosing “paint colors, alloys, and interior trims,” and then “walk[ing] around a photorealistic, fully customized vehicle even if there isn’t one on the lot.”
Qualcomm’s XT Enterprise Program has 35+ participating companies, increasing the “likelihood that similar applications will become available soon for remote collaboration, training, health care, and industrial use.” It is also “currently working with partner Goertek on streamlined industrial designs, showing how purpose-optimized VR and AR versions of the hardware will be at least as small and light as well-known existing solutions.”
Qualcomm also stated that it is creating a “superset” Snapdragon XR2 reference design for developers, “including most of the major features the chipset supports, including 60GHz Wi-Fi and Ericsson-validated 5G wireless abilities, seven cameras, twin high-resolution LCD screens, 6DoF controllers, foveation, eye tracking, and hand tracking.”