Ultraleap and Qualcomm have signed a multi-year co-operation agreement that will see the optimisation of the next generation of hand-tracking capabilities on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ XR2 5G platform.

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.” 

Ultraleap is the single brand formed after Ultrahaptics acquired Leap Motion in 2019. Ultraleap now employs more than 150 people across Europe, North America and Asia. It has become the first to offer the full vertical stack of software and hardware to enable spatial computing for the automotive, out of home, industrial, XR, entertainment and medical sectors.

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.” 

Ultraleap’s world-leading hand tracking technology has been developed over 10 years using artificial intelligence. The technology is applicable to a wide range of industries, including extended reality, automotive, digital signage, industrial automation, consumer electronics and location-based entertainment, to bring natural interaction between people and technology.     

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.