The augmented reality (AR) gaming market has seen new contenders rise as technological platforms offer new possibilities for the sector. One such entrant, Mirrorscape, has leveraged Qualcomm Technologies’ AR2 smart glasses system to develop its ARcana gaming platform. The Los Angeles-based firm boasts a team of veteran technologists from SONY, Apple, Disney, Marvel Studios, and others.
The new gaming platform allows users to join tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs) with friends. Players can participate in their favourite fantasy, sci-fi, and other games using physical environments with superimposed AR content. The first-ever computing platform advances traditional RPGs with cutting-edge mixed reality (MR) technologies.
ARcana’s gaming platform uses the Snapdragon Spaces XR Development Platform, enabling smart glass wearers to detect tabletop surfaces automatically. This allows gamers to superimpose full-scale board games on tables and track their hands to manipulate game pieces, similar to real-world activities.
Grant Anderson, Mirrorscape Founder and Chief Executive, said,
“Snapdragon® XR technology and platform have allowed Mirrorscape to create the next-generation gaming experience we always envisioned for ARcana. Our adoption of Snapdragon Spaces lets us deliver immersive, interactive and highly engaging AR gameplay that provides tabletop gamers with an authentic, 3D experience whether around the table or around the world”
Mirrorscape also recently joined the Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder Programme to advance spatial computing and MR solutions. Firms have leveraged Snapdragon Spaces to create XR applications across gaming, engineering, collaboration, and many others through the platform.
Brian Vogelsang, Senior Direct of XR Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, explained that his company was “dedicated to creating best-in-class technologies” with its solutions.
“With Snapdragon Spaces we are widening our XR community with developers,” he added.
“Mirrorscape’s unique vision with ARcana is what led us to welcome them into the Snapdragon Spaces Pathfinder program, and we’re thrilled to be highlighting their product alongside our technology”
The ARcana gaming platform is in beta release and will launch across Android and iOS, among others, in the spring of this year. Mirrorscape also plans to demo it at conferences in the future.
Qualcomm and the Snapdragon AR2 Platform
The news comes after XR Today interviewed Vogelsang on the sidelines of the Immerse Global Summit 2022 Miami. The executive introduced updates on Qualcomm’s AR2 smart glasses platform, which aims to transform the AR industry with a novel, open platform for device development.
Qualcomm is the leading company transforming headsets from PCVR tethering to standalone devices. Companies such as HTC VIVE, Lenovo, Meta Platforms, Pico, and others have tapped Qualcomm’s solutions. Its device and XR technologies are set to boost the AR industry with greater interoperability and ecosystem growth.
According to Vogelsang, Qualcomm provides Snapdragon Spaces to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Developers can also download its software developer kit (SDK) for Unity and Unreal Engine. This aims to expand compatibility with devices and immersive space developers.
Niantic-Qualcomm Partnership: A Dynamic Duo for AR Gaming?
Aside from the ARcana gaming platform, multiple tech firms have boosted the growth and adoption of AR-based gaming across the world with fresh partnerships.
In November, Qualcomm and Niantic teamed up to create a platform for geotagged immersive content. With Niantic’s Lightship Visual Positioning System (VPS), Snapdragon Spaces opened its unlimited potential to immersive space developers. Such technologies allow users to join outdoor AR gaming and content across headphones and headsets.
The Niantic-Qualcomm partnership will also lead to prototyping for an AR smart glasses device designed for outdoor use. Based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon AR2 platform, the smart glasses will benefit from cooler operating temperatures, greater power efficiency and processing power, and unmatched interoperability.
Along with its blockbuster AR social gaming app Pokemon Go, Niantic has empowered gaming and XR firms such as Trigger XR. The company is a major designer of immersive gaming experiences for media and entertainment.
The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), Jurassic World, Marvel, and other top-grossing franchises have massively expanded their brand outreach with Trigger XR’s gaming experiences.