Ultraleap and Qualcomm announce a multi-year agreement

Qualcomm and Ultraleap today announced a “multi-year co-operation agreement” that will bring Ultraleap’s controllerless hand-tracking tech (formerly of Leap Motion) to XR headsets based on the Snapdragon XR2 chipset. Ultraleap claims to have the “fastest, most accurate, and most robust hand tracking.”

Snapdragon XR2 is Qualcomm’s latest made-for-XR chip which the company has touted as being the ideal foundation for standalone XR headsets.

The leading standalone VR headset, Oculus Quest, has been increasingly focusing on controllerless hand-tracking as a means of input for the device. Other major headset makers, like Microsoft and its HoloLens 2, have also honed in on hand-tracking as a key input method. As industry leaders coalesce around hand-tracking, it becomes increasingly important for competing devices to offer similar functionality.

But hand-tracking isn’t a ‘solved’ problem, making it a challenge for organizations that don’t have the resources of Facebook and Microsoft to work out their own hand-tracking solution.

Ultraleap’s fifth generation hand tracking platform, known as Gemini, will be pre-integrated and optimised on the standalone, untethered Snapdragon XR2 5G reference design, signalling a significant step change for the XR space. The Gemini platform delivers the fastest, most accurate and most robust hand tracking and will provide the most open and accessible platform for developers.

The Snapdragon XR2 5G Platform is the world’s first 5G-supported platform designed specifically for untethered VR, MR and AR (collectively, extended reality or XR). Gemini has been optimised for the Snapdragon XR2 5G platform to allow for an ‘always on’ experience and the most natural interaction in untethered XR.

Steve Cliffe, CEO of Ultraleap, said: “Qualcomm Technologies recognises the importance of high-precision hand tracking in order to revolutionise interaction in XR. The compatibility of our technology with the Snapdragon XR2 5G Platform will make the process of designing hand tracking within a very wide variety of products as simple as pick and place. Qualcomm Technologies is in the position to bring transformation to XR by making state-of-the-art technologies – including 5G and spatial computing – available to a broad market. We are proud to be at the forefront of this fast-growing ecosystem alongside them.”

Hiren Bhinde, Director of Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said: “Hand tracking is becoming a table stakes feature in next-gen XR devices. True immersive XR experiences require seamless, natural and intuitive usage and interaction of the users’ hand when interacting in the digital world as they do in the physical world. Ultraleap’s hand tracking technology enables this seamless interaction through a natural connection between people and technology, which is incredibly important for the next generation of XR devices. We are excited to work with Ultraleap to help deliver more immersive experiences on the Snapdragon XR2 5G reference design.”

Read the original Ultraleap news press release here 


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