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Qualcomm Focuses on the Future With the Snapdragon 845 VRDK

Qualcomm have been heavily investing in the virtual reality (VR) space, with its processors used in smartphones to help power mobile VR, and most recently going into upcoming standalone devices like Oculus Go. Then last month the company announced its first foray into VR head-mounted displays (HMDs) creating the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Reference Design. Today, that headset has taken another step forward with the Snapdragon 845 VR Development Kit.

Unveiled during this weeks Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018 in San Francisco, the kit includes a standalone VR HMD, and a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform.

The platform is designed to simplify development and provide VR application developers with access to new VR features for immersive mobile experiences on Snapdragon 845 Android devices.

Qualcomm intends to advance headset technology through several innovative features, these include Adreno Foveation; this enables devices to improve performance and save power by concentrating graphical processing to where the user is looking, while the peripheral vision is down graded without any noticeable loss in quality. This has been achieved through an eye-tracking partnership with Tobii.

The Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit also includes roomscale 6DoF simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) for its inside-out tracking mixed with a Boundary System enabling developers to accurately visualise real-world spatial constraints within virtual worlds, helping users avoid bumping into things.

“In virtual reality, content is important to an immersive experience, so we’re excited to grant developers access to our new Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform through development kits that will help them create truly immersive experiences,” said Hiren Bhinde, Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. in a statement. “We built the new Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit with application developers in mind, designed to abate some of the hassles of optimizing virtual reality content for mobile deployment, as well as to support easier access to several innovations and technology advancements of Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform.”

In addition to the headset announcement, Qualcomm has now confirmed it’ll support the HTC Vive Wave VR SDK, so developers can build Snapdragon-optimized content for future HTC VR products like the Vive Focus which uses the Snapdragon 835 processor.

The Snapdragon 845 Virtual Reality Development Kit’s hardware HMD and companion SDK are expected to be available in the second quarter of 2018 for OEM’s and developers. As further details are announced, VRFocus will keep you updated.