Qualcomm Technologies has teamed up with a San Francisco-based startup to develop ‘spatial understanding’ capabilities for its XR headsets and viewers. The partnership will build on the startup’s wildly ambitious aim of building “a 3D map of the world” based on smartphone camera imaging.
Founded in the autumn of 2017, 6D.ai grew out of Oxford University’s Active Vision Lab. The company has only 16 employees at present, but has announced its Qualcomm collaboration alongside the commercial launch of its platform, positioning itself for growth.
6D’s collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies will seek to leverage Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, and 5G technologies to enable immersive Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality experiences for end users through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor solutions for mobile devices. And the collaboration’s foundation will be 6D’s world-mapping platform.
“The 3D model of the world is the next platform all apps will run on,” explained 6D CEO Matt Miesnieks in a statement announcing the partnership. “We are seeing this happen today with businesses of all sizes across a variety of industries looking to build spatially aware applications that go beyond AR to scanning, location-based services and in the future, drones and robotics.”
Right out of the gate, 6D says that thousands of developers are already working with its platform, including developers with Accenture and other Fortune 500 companies. And the startup is still looking to get many more onboard with a special offer of free use of 6D’s SDK for three years for any app that ships on the platform by December 31st of 2019.
For end users, that could lead to many more unique XR experiences on headsets and other mobile devices offered by Qualcomm and its peers. And it points to the further expansion of AI and Computer Vision in everyday life.