OnQ Blog

A new era in virtual reality with the Snapdragon VR820 reference platform

Qualcomm Technologies ushers in the next generation of virtual reality at the IFA consumer electronics trade show

Sep 1, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Tech manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and journalists are descending on Berlin for IFA 2016, one of the largest annual consumer electronics trade shows. More than just a concept show, IFA has a storied tradition of transitioning technology from prototype to commercialization, helping put cutting-edge products in the hands of consumers by way of online and retail sales. In fact, in 2015, the six-day conference saw more than $4.67 billion in order volume.

This year, that transitive tech is virtual reality (VR). Standalone VR, which includes head-mounted displays (HMDs) untethered to base computing devices, is helping set the stage for widespread VR adoption. These devices showcase the possibilities of truly immersive VR experiences that will continue to push VR from unique novelty to high-demand consumer product for developers, manufacturers, and retailers.

And to help those developers and manufacturers create amazing VR devices and experiences, Qualcomm Technologies has announced the Qualcomm Snapdragon VR820 virtual reality reference platform. The Snapdragon VR820 is based on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and built upon the Snapdragon VR Software Development Kit (SDK), and is designed to help developers create the hardware, software, and content needed to create the truly immersive VR experiences.

The Snapdragon VR820 includes an array of advanced features that are designed to help create those immersive experiences that make VR truly engaging: integrated eye tracking with two cameras, motion to photon latency less than 18ms, dual front-facing cameras for six degrees of freedom (6DOF) and see-through applications, four microphones, gyro, and accelerometer and magnetometer sensors. And all of this can be showcased in a sleek, comfortable design.

The ability of the Snapdragon VR820 to drive immersive experiences will be key to developers and manufacturers as VR approaches a unique precipice. New generations of consumers are migrating away from traditional content platforms like television. With powerful processing capabilities supported by products like the Snapdragon VR820, VR is becoming a viable option—and a step up—from the experimental smartphone and computer VR experiences of the past.

With more engaging content and powerful platforms being created every day, VR adoption is due to take off. In fact, there’s been more than $1.2 billion in VC funding in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

One example of an immersive VR platform is the Pico Neo, which is on display at the Qualcomm booth at IFA (#103, located in Hall 6.2). The Pico Neo showcases what’s possible for powerful HMDs. Powered by the Snapdragon 820, integrated in the gamepad, the lightweight headset features 2K stereoscopic rendering of high quality 3D graphics and 360-degree HEVC video.

The next step in VR—immersive experiences with standalone VR sets—are on the horizon: The Snapdragon VR820 is anticipated to be available in Q4 2016 and expected to be in devices shortly thereafter.


Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Jim Merrick

Marketing Director, IoT

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