Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 835-Powered VR Headset and Accelerator Program for OEMs

has announced that the company is launching a new virtual reality development kit (VRDK) for its Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, which gives developers early access to a VR head mounted display or VR headset built with the aforementioned processor. The company has also launched its Head Mounted Display Accelerator Program meant for original equipment manufacturers of virtual reality hardware.

Talking first about the virtual reality development kit, the head mounted display that comes with the kit sports a 4-megapixel WQHD (2560×1440) AMOLED display (two megapixels per eye). It features six degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion tracking with two monochromatic, one mega pixel (1280×800) global shutter cameras. The head mounted display comes with inertial measurement unit with fast interface Snapdragon 835 integrated sensor core, the company said in its release. The Snapdragon 835 VRDK’s head mounted display packs 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and in terms of connectivity options, it offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB 3.1 type C. There is also a trackpad located on the right side of the VR headset.

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“With this new VRDK, we’re providing virtual reality application developers with advanced tools and technologies to accelerate a new generation of VR games, 360-degree VR videos and a variety of interactive education, enterprise, healthcare and entertainment applications,” Cristiano Amon, executive vice president at Qualcomm Technologies, was quoted as saying in the release.
The virtual reality development kit is expected to be made available in Q2 2017 through Qualcomm Developer Network.

Moving to the Qualcomm’s Head Mounted Display Accelerator Program, the initiative aims to help virtual reality hardware manufacturers “reduce engineering costs, decrease the time it takes to create and ship new products, and provide means for OEMs to validate performance metrics,” the company said in a separate release.

With this accelerator program, hardware manufacturers will get access to reference designs and they can choose from a pre-qualified set of components. Manufacturers can choose to build their own head mounted displays from the reference designs or can take the help from turnkey original design manufacturers like Goertek or Thundercomm to modify the Snapdragon 835 powered headset to suit their requirements.

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“VR tracking software from technology leaders like Leap Motion and SMI has also been pre-optimized on the Snapdragon 835 VR HMD to accelerate time to development,” Qualcomm said. The accelerator program further includes pre-defined quality metrics and methods of testing, accessories, and more. Qualcomm’s accelerator program is already open for the hardware developers.

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