September 23, 2021 – Global semiconductor company Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. has recently acquired Wikitude, a provider of an augmented reality (AR) software development kit (SDK), for an undisclosed sum.
Qualcomm is one of the world’s largest semiconductor providers and offers a range of chipset solutions for the extended reality (XR) market, namely its Snapdragon XR1 and XR2 5G platforms, which have been built with augmented and virtual reality applications in mind.
Wikitude, headquartered in Salzburg, Austria, offers an augmented reality SDK that enables developers to build more sophisticated and immersive AR solutions that can be deployed across multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows and smart glasses. At the time of publication, the number of employees listed as working at Wikitude on LinkedIn stood at 35 people.
The two companies have been working together since 2019 when Wikitude optimized its AR platform for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform. Back then, Wikitude’s platform was also the only one of its kind that would run across all operating systems (iOS, Android, and UWP), meaning AR developers could easily port experiences from smartphone AR to new headsets.
Although no press release has been put out by either company as of yet, a spokesperson for Qualcomm did state simply: “Qualcomm can confirm the acquisition of Wikitude.”
Qualcomm is known to engage in acquisitions and joint ventures, in fact, the company states that it does so in order to: “meet certain technology needs, to obtain development resources or open or expand opportunities for [its] technologies and to support the design and introduction of new products and services” – this includes for voice and data communications, new industry segments, and also applications beyond mobile.
Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced its new Snapdragon XR1 AR Smart Viewer Reference Design, which consists of an AR smart viewer that can be tethered to a compatible smartphone, Windows PC, or processing puck and is optimized for devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Platforms. Although it is not yet clear the direction that Qualcomm will take things with Wikitude as a result of the acquisition, it could indicate that the company is also looking to offer its own AR development software to go along with its hardware and AR reference devices.
An announcement from the two companies is to be expected in the coming weeks.
Image credit: Qualcomm / Wikitude