It has already been an interesting start for immersive technologies at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 this week, with Microsoft announcing the HoloLens 2 and HTC revealing plans for wireless VR streaming with a new 5G home hub. Continuing that 5G theme is Qualcomm Technologies, announcing its strategy to deliver the next generation of mobile VR experiences to USB Type-C connected 5G smartphones.
This will be achieved via the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, with the next generation of 5G connected smartphones able to provide even richer augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences through XR headsets.
While companies like Oculus and HTC are going down the standalone headset route with the likes of Oculus Go and HTC Vive Focus, Qualcomm still envisions a world powered by smartphones offering high-resolution displays and inside-out Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) tracking.
Combining 5G’s high data rates and low latency with USB Type-C, devices like the Acer OJO head-mounted display (HMD) or the nreal light AR glasses will help to expand the ecosystem whilst providing further bundle deals for consumers.
And to help in this endeavour Qualcomm has also announced an expansion of the HMD Accelerator Program (HAP) to include and help pre-validate components and performance between smartphones and XR viewers.
“Our HMD Accelerator Program has been a critical catalyst for ecosystem partners ranging from component suppliers and ODMs, to bring quality standalone XR headsets to consumers,” said Hugo Swart, senior director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Building upon the momentum of this program, we will extend it to XR viewers and compatible smartphones, starting with smartphones enabled by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform. In collaboration with ecosystem stakeholders, we are working towards the common goal of transforming how the world connects and communicates by offering premium, immersive experiences over 5G.”
“Acer is enabling a XR headset with high-resolution displays and 6 degrees-of-freedom positional tracking for Snapdragon 855-based smartphones. We’re ready to work with smartphone OEMs and operators worldwide to deliver the 5G + VR experiences,” said Andrew Chuang, General Manger, Presence Computing, IT Product Business, Acer Inc.
2019 may be the year 5G devices start to appear, but the wireless technology isn’t available just yet. Actual coverage isn’t expected until 2020 at the earliest. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.