28 Mar 2023 | Sam Sprigg
Qualcomm’s broad spectrum efforts spark XR innovation across the metaverse
AWE USA 2023

Whether it is the software platforms that provide XR solutions for users; the hardware manufacturers pushing the limits of immersive displays, or the wireless technologies that connect us with real-time 3D content, companies that take a “broad spectrum” approach are driving innovation and growth across the metaverse industry.

Qualcomm Technologies, a leader in wireless innovation, is helping to build a bright future for XR through its leading mobile platforms, processors, AI, and 5G offerings. In addition to these products, Snapdragon XR processors, developer platforms and technology enable industry and community growth with a multi-threaded approach that supports the entire ecosystem from network providers to developer teams. 

Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more posts in this series highlighting the leading brands who are helping to grow the XR industry with broad spectrum initiatives like these.

How do Qualcomm Technologies’ broad spectrum efforts support the XR ecosystem?

  1. Telecom and network collaborations demonstrate the power of 5G.
  2. Snapdragon Spaces™ XR Developer Platform empowers AR and VR developers with a robust toolkit to create XR applications.
  3. Open platforms accelerate XR’s growth and expand its reach.
  4. Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Program connects XR teams with enterprise support. 
  5. A new Auggie Award incentivizes innovation and community through the use of the Snapdragon Spaces SDK.

Building the foundation for XR.

Qualcomm Technologies has developed a number of metaverse tools and services that enable high-performance, low-power, and immersive XR experiences including dedicated Snapdragon XR processors, software, and perception technologies. 

Additionally, the mobile innovator develops hardware reference designs for VR, MR and AR glasses that address some of the key challenges for the XR industry, including low latency, power efficiency, and user comfort. 

Developer tools such as the company’s Snapdragon Spaces further extend the product value to developers and creators of 3D apps and experiences.

Telecom and network collaborations demonstrate the power of 5G.

By collaborating with telecommunications operators and hardware manufacturers, Qualcomm has accelerated the development of 5G-enabled XR devices and applications, often bringing content creators and development teams along with them to demonstrate the use-cases and opportunities enabled by high-speed, low-latency networks.

At AWE USA 2022 Qualcomm showed up in force with industry collaborators. A 5G accelerator program built with T-Mobile held prominent space on the expo floor and featured XR start-ups and developers sharing first-looks at games and experiences leveraging 5G networks and Snapdragon Spaces.

From the conference mainstage, Qualcomm Technologies' VP & GM of XR, Hugo Swart, announced a hardware collaboration with headset manufacturer Lenovo and smartphone maker Motorola to make their next generation AR and 5G tools available to developers world-wide through their hardware development kit; the Lenovo ThinkReality A3 smart glasses and a motorola edge+ smartphone.

A user in Lenovo's ThinkReality A3
enterprise smart glasses.

Snapdragon Spaces empowers AR and VR teams with a robust toolkit.

Snapdragon Spaces is an open platform that enables developers to create immersive XR experiences for wearable devices.

The platform bundles XR's must-have technologies including: positional tracking, which maps the environment and estimates the location, position, and orientation of AR glasses for experiences with six degrees of freedom. Snapdragon Spaces also allows for the creation of persistent AR content and enables developers to place AR content that is locally anchored in 3D space and that can be tracked by AR glasses.


By offering these sorts of features, Snapdragon Spaces is helping to pave the way for the XR industry by empowering developers to pioneer innovative experiences that will lead the next generation of immersive technology.


Open platforms accelerate XR’s growth and expand its reach.

By enabling their services within most of the leading 3D engines including Unity's AR Foundation, Epic's Unreal Engine, and MARS, Snapdragon Spaces enables developer teams with some of the most robust XR tools in their preferred workflows. 

Expanding this impact further, the Snapdragon Spaces platform also supports the OpenXR standard, an open and royalty-free API standard from the Khronos Group that enables applications and engines, including WebXR, to run on any system that exposes the OpenXR APIs.

Open platforms are extremely important for emerging technologies, as they make XR tools more accessible, simplify the creation and development of AR and VR, and expand the reach of content—removing the need to manually port or entirely re-write code to adapt experiences for different devices.

By making Snapdragon Spaces open, Qualcomm Technologies empowers a robust XR ecosystem that includes global operators, smartphone OEMs, 3D engines, and immersive content that will help speed up the development and adoption of AR glasses and accompanying experiences.

Developers looking to stretch the limits of reality through the creation of immersive experiences for AR glasses can visit the Snapdragon Spaces website and download the SDK to get started.

Get started with Snapdragon Spaces

Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Program connects XR teams with enterprise support. 

Empowering developers to “unlock the full potential of wearable AR,” Qualcomm Technologies launched the Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Program, providing a range of support offerings including: early access to our XR platform technology, co-marketing and promotion, and hardware development kits for creating augmented reality experiences.

The program, which was announced last year, seeks to support AR innovators and help them to “break the limits of reality.” Qualcomm has to date funded a range of developer projects from companies including AWE regulars: Beatshapers, Designium, Holo-Light, Syncreality, VictoryXR, WE/AR Studio, and many more.

Interested developers that want to apply to be a Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder can click here for more information.

Incentivizing innovation and community with a new Auggie Award.

Qualcomm has recently announced the creation and sponsorship of an entirely new Auggie Award with the ‘Best Snapdragon Spaces App’ category, which will be recognized for the first time at AWE USA 2023. The category is aimed at rewarding the best XR solution or app created utilizing the Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, and will see the winner awarded not only an Auggie Awards trophy, but also a $10,000 cash prize from Qualcomm.

This award demonstrates Qualcomm’s dedication to fostering innovation within the XR industry and highlights the company’s continued efforts to spur on the growth and adoption of augmented and virtual reality technology.

For any developers currently using the platform, Auggie Award nominations are open until April 7, and developers can submit their projects to this year’s Auggies under the new Snapdragon Spaces category.


Submit your Snapdragon Spaces project for an Auggie Award

Experience Qualcomm's XR innovations at AWE USA.

By supporting the AR and VR ecosystem with a broad spectrum approach, Qualcomm is building the foundations of immersive technology while facilitating the long-term growth and innovation of the XR ecosystem; from telecoms to developers. 

Don’t miss Qualcomm at AWE USA, where you’ll be able to check out some of the company’s latest XR innovations, speak with the teams behind leading XR products such as the Snapdragon XR2 chipset or the Snapdragon Spaces Developer Platform, and get hands on with several XR devices powered by Qualcomm Technologies’ various platforms and collaborations.

Secure your spot at AWE USA 2023

Header image credit: Qualcomm Technologies

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