Qualcomm's chip maker promotes a platform for virtual and enhanced smartphone headsets that rely on 5G networks, along with partners such as Acer, LG and Sprint. The company announced plans today at the Mobile World Congress, saying it would help push the VR and AR (joint, "XR") handsets into the market in 2019
Qualcomm will set up an XR-certified certification program ". for phones using their Snapdragon 855 processors, which shows that they will work with any headphones in this ecosystem. So far there are two officially supported viewers: the Acer OJO, the virtual reality headphones announced last August, and the mixed realities of Nreal Light, which were presented to CES in January. Most are expected to appear this year, including something from the Vico company Pico, and Qualcomm uses an existing acceleration program to promote the development of XR headphones.
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reference design for the partners to work with. Acer OJO and Nreal Light are extremely different products, and the OJO is actually first announced as a Windows Mixed Reality device. The unifying theme is that all these VR and AR viewers will have their own displays, but they will be able to run applications via a USB-C phone, combining the advantages of connections and mobile handsets.
LG is not a new concept – LG debuts with USB-C-coupled VR headphones in 2016. Here, however, Qualcomm promises that 5G networks will allow users to transmit the media with higher quality, making the devices more attractive from before. "Mobile XR has the potential to become as big as the smartphone as a Qualcomm opportunity," said product manager Hugo Swart.
Several network service providers have approved Qualcomm's efforts; The list of partners includes US operator Sprint, Australian telecom Telstra, Korean suppliers SK Telecom and LG U +, and the Swiss company Swisscom. Qualcomm offers these companies, as well as phone manufacturers, to benefit from the availability of hardware that will specifically demonstrate the benefits of 5G networks.
These networks are still at a very early stage of deployment, but it is not clear that people need to buy 5G phones for a while; the 5G service is more likely to be a bullshit label than a real upgrade. Moreover, Qualcomm did not make a very strong argument for the purchase of Acer and Nreal handsets when they were released.
VR has at least one relatively large catalog of games and video applications. But AR is still mostly unchecked as a mass-market device – AR companies facing consumers like the North are struggling and sophisticated devices such as HoloLens are purely business-focused. Telephone sunglasses may be lighter than their fully self-contained parts, but they still need display hardware and often cameras that still make them a little clumsy. A hands-free script in places like the metro, "basically in a scenario where there is not much room to even pull your smartphone." And Nreal's glasses have been praised for their relatively unobtrusive design and high-quality display at CES. But this is still a relatively niche case of using a $ 1,000 device. (Qualcomm did not have details of the overall price range for its XR devices.)
However, it is good to see that Qualcomm and its partners insist on a diverse a set of devices that are compatible with the new Android phones. Both VR and AR are expected to benefit from the increased 5G bandwidth – when all of these technologies are ready for the public.