Niantic and Qualcomm are teaming up to build AR software and hardware

Niantic has announced that their Lightship visual positioning system will work with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Spaces in 2023.

Developers that use the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform will be able to easily add functionality from Lightship’s visual positioning system, which means that AR applications will be able to more accurately interact with the physical world. Using Lightship VPS maps allows for a phone or headset to be located down to the centimetre. 

“We believe true AR will be best experienced on AR headsets made for the outdoors. For our part, we plan to make Lightship VPS available to power location-based AR experiences on as many hardware devices as possible.” said Niantic. 

“Our VPS makes digital objects and creations exist and stay in real-world locations, like they would if they were physical objects. So if one person places a digital object, another person can discover it in exactly the same location. That means digital AR experiences are like the social interactions people have in the physical world.”

Both companies also announced that they have teamed up on an outdoor AR headset reference design, showcasing their “vision for heads-up outdoor play” and how it allows users to orient themselves with Niantic’s map. 

The hardware reference design is just a first step however, and it has already been confirmed that the technology and its form will evolve alongside the new Snapdragon AR2 platform in collaboration with headset manufacturers. 

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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