Microsoft and Qualcomm team up to power next generation AR glasses

Major tech players set their sights on what comes next for AR
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Microsoft and Qualcomm has announced they are working together to build an augmented reality chipset that will power a pair of lightweight AR glasses that will sit inside of Microsoft's ecosystem.

Software platforms from both sides will make up this new chipset, with Microsoft's Mesh and Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR Spaces set to form the software foundations for a pair of "very lightweight AR glasses" according to Qualcomm's CEO Cristiano Amon who made the announcement at the company's keynote at CES 2022.

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This isn't the first time the two have teamed up on AR projects, with Qualcomm's chipset responsible for powering Microsoft's second generation HoloLens headset. The prospect that this latest venture will result in something seemingly smaller than HoloLens is an intriguing prospect.

Qualcomm also unveiled its own smartglasses reference hardware back in February 2021 (pictured above) to showcase its own XR1 augmented reality technology platform.

Microsoft's Mesh is a mixed reality platform, which was announced back in 2021, and is designed to let people share virtual experiences across devices. Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR Spaces developer platform was also announced in 2021 with a bid to help developers create augmented reality experiences.

There's no details on when we might see these lightweight Microsoft AR glasses, but it seems on the whole, the industry is gearing up for what's next for the mixed reality realms.

Microsoft and Qualcomm team up to power next generation AR glasses

Google's acquisition of smartglasses maker North could lead to a Google Glass successor

The announcement comes hot on the heels of reports that Google is throwing its hat back in the ring to build another pair of AR smartglasses. That's apparently fuelled by its acquisition of startup North, who had already launched a set of connected AR specs and was in the process of launching a second pair before Google swooped in and snapped them up.

We know that Meta (formerly known as Facebook) has previously declared a clear interest in the mixed reality space, though it's also been reported that it may have halted development of an operating system for future VR and AR devices. The project was apparently called XROS and was made up of a team of 300 before development on the OS was ended.

We cannot of course ignore the ongoing speculation that suggests Apple will launch AR glasses and that 2022 could be the year when we finally see them.

Whatever happens in the augmented and mixed reality spaces, it's becoming clear that the big names in the tech space are making moves so they don't get left behind. Will Microsoft and Qualcomm beat Google, Meta and Apple to launching the first big pair of next generation AR glasses? We're intrigued to find out.

Via: The Verge


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Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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