T-Mobile is the exclusive 5G North American launch partner for Qualcomm Technologies’ Snapdragon Spaces XR Developer Platform, which provides resources to create consumer and enterprise augmented reality (AR) applications.
Beginning next year, T-Mobile will work with startups and developers via its T-Mobile Accelerator to build immersive 5G experiences for AR glasses. T-Mobile Accelerator is the carrier’s initiative to support startup companies pursuing 5G- and AR/VR-related technology. T-Mobile engineers and business personnel will work with T-Mobile Accelerator participants to develop, test and market products and services built on Snapdragon Spaces.
The Snapdragon Spaces platform enables developers to create 3D applications for AR glasses from the ground up or to add headworn AR features to existing Android smartphone applications. The latter approach enables a unified, multi-screen experience between smartphone screen in 2D and the real world in 3D, according to T-Mobile.
“5G is powering more immersive experiences that better connect us to people and things around the world, and glasses will be one of the first disruptive new product categories,” said T-Mobile Technology President Neville Ray in a press release about the T-Mobile augmented reality news. “AR glasses will make a real impact for both businesses and consumers, but first we need to build the ecosystem of developers that will bring new applications to life, and Snapdragon Spaces is a critical step in making this happen.”
The metaverse, which features AR and VR (virtual reality) is seen as a big opportunity for carriers, especially as companies such as Facebook – which even changed its corporate name to metaverse – get involved. It’s an exciting world, with plenty of potential revenue-generating applications at both the consumer and enterprise levels.
In April, eight startups were named to the 2021 T-Mobile Accelerator Spring Immersive Technology Program. The new entrants to the program, which lasted three months, were Condense Reality (Bristol, UK); Everysight (Haifa, Israel); Flow Immersive (Auburn, CA.); Kai XR (Oakland, CA); Longan Vision Corp. (Hamilton, Canada); Matsuko (Košice, Slovakia); Multicasting.io (Phoenix, AZ) and Prisms of Reality, Inc. (Brooklyn, NY).
T-Mobile, of course, is not the only carrier backing these technologies. Indeed, less than a week after T-Mobile announced its new accelerator class, Verizon said it is partnering on VR applications that were to be built on its 5G and mobile edge computing (MEC) technologies. The first products were set to focus on learning and training for the enterprise, public and education sectors.
Joan Engebretson contributed to this report