Ultraleap today announced that it partnered with Qualcomm to make hand tracking a staple feature of the Snapdragon XR2 5G Reference design headset. The multi-year deal all but guarantees that future standalone VR and AR headsets will support intuitive hand tracked interactions.
Ultraleap's fifth-generation hand-tracking technology, dubbed Gemini, will come pre-integrated in Qualcomm's XR2 5G reference platform. Qualcomm's reference design is available to hardware manufacturers to help design standalone XR (VR and AR) devices, like Oculus's Quest headset.
"Qualcomm Technologies recognizes the importance of high-precision hand tracking in order to revolutionize 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," said Steve Cliffe, CEO of Ultraleap. "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."
Ultraleap's hand tracking technology, formerly known as Leap Motion, is among the best hand-tracking solutions available today. The technology has various uses, including automotive and consumer electronics, digital signage, and of course, virtual and augmented reality. Qualcomm's Snapdragon XR2 5G is the first 5G-enabled platform for untethered XR devices, and Ultraleap's Gemini hand tracking solution ensures that the XR2 5G platform is ready for the future of immersive computing.
The timing of Ultraleap's announcement is curious considering the rumours swirling about a new Oculus Quest headset. Facebook is currently gearing up for the Facebook Connect event (formerly Oculus Connect) on September 16, so we may see the first Ultraleap enabled headset very soon.