Oct 16, 2019
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
It’s rewarding to work in VR and AR (collectively XR), a breakthrough technology which we believe is the next mobile computing platform and will fundamentally transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates. This year, our XR team has already made significant strides to support the XR ecosystem through our technologies, including announcing a new smart viewer reference design, enabling dual-mode VR HMDs to include PC content through Boundless XR for PC and garnering strong mobile ecosystem support for our vision of lightweight XR Viewers for 5G smartphones.
Undoubtedly, the industry has seen strong momentum in standalone VR given the commercial success of the Oculus Quest which taps into the Qualcomm Snapdragon industry-leading heterogeneous chip architecture to offer an all-on-one rich, immersive VR gaming experience. There will always be a strong industry for standalone VR HMDs and AR glasses, and we are committed to working with our partners to enhance, improve, and optimize standalone XR experience for users and end consumers.
Working with the mobile ecosystem to make XR a reality
In addition to standalone XR, we’ve been working with global mobile operators who are deploying 5G and, in parallel, with smartphone manufacturers to create an immersive XR experience that will take advantage of a device that consumers already own and carry around 24/7 — their smartphones. Since our XR viewer announcement at MWC 2019, we’ve worked tirelessly to support our customers toward the commercialization in 2020. I was elated to host a panel today at Qualcomm 5G Summit featuring KDDI, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom and ZTE — each of which unveiled their XR viewer plans for the first time to our audience in Barcelona.
Katsuhiro Kozuki, deputy GM of Mobile & XR at KDDI showed an ID for an AR glass that they will be promoting in Japan. The AR glass will be connected to 5G phones relying on their Au content service. KDDI is planning to have it in-store for demos still this year.
Sven Vonaschwege, VP of Global Strategic Partners at Deutsche Telekom talked about the importance of XR for the future of their services and how XR viewers are a critical accessory that will take full advantage of 5G.
Qiming Wang, executive director and GM of China Unicom provided details on their viewer launch plans with milestones leading to a launch in 1H20! Operators in the panel were unanimous about the value of XR viewers – very exciting to hear their public endorsements.
As part of our XR viewer announcement, we revealed “XR Optimized” (a part of our Qualcomm HMD Accelerator Program), meaning that on the hardware side, Qualcomm Technologies will support compatibility and performance between XR viewers and smartphones. ZTE announced their support for XR Optimized and are ready to engage with operators worldwide interested in this feature.
Today, VLAVR and 3glasses announced two new XR viewers that will soon be commercially available and will be XR Optimized.
XR and 5G together can take XR to a new level
We see the potential of XR viewers paired with 5G smartphones as a vehicle for mass consumer adoption, and we’re thrilled with the progress to date and industry readiness. With the global deployment of 5G, Qualcomm Technologies and the rest of the ecosystem are helping usher in groundbreaking, immersive, never-before-done experiences to make XR a reality for everyone.