Qualcomm Technologies is working with original equipment manufacturers, operators and platform providers to deliver XR-enabled 5G smartphones.
The Qualcomm subsidiary is also expanding the HMD Accelerator Program (HAP) to include and help pre-validate components and performance between smartphones and XR viewers.
XR viewers provide a sleek, lightweight headset form factor that offers visually rich, interactive, augmented (AR) or virtual reality (VR) experiences with high-resolution displays and advanced inside-out Six Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) tracking.
These lightweight XR viewers are designed to connect to smartphones based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, tethered via USB Type-C. With the benefits of 5G, XR viewers can be optimised and commercial-ready for the mobile industry in 2019, according to Qualcomm.
HAP has been “a critical catalyst for ecosystem partners ranging from component suppliers and original design manufacturers, to bring quality standalone XR headsets to consumers,” said Hugo Swart, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies.
“Building upon the momentum of this programme, 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.”
According to Qualcomm, XR viewers will allow smartphone manufacturers to bundle offerings and bring new experiences to customers as the ecosystem unveils 5G.
Recent examples include the the Acer OJO HMD and the Nreal light AR glasses. Additional XR viewer manufacturer announcements, including one from Pico, are anticipated to come in 2019.
With major smartphone brands including, OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi and BlackShark aiming to commercialise Snapdragon 855 smartphones in 2019, Qualcomm believes the XR viewer initiative can expand the range of offerings to bring innovative content and a greater set of services to consumers.
The likes of LG U+, KDDI Corporation, KT Corp, SK Telecom, Sprint, Swisscom, Telstra and TIM have been heavily ushering in the next generation of wireless networks to make 5G and its key benefits a commercial reality. XR viewers enable incremental service offerings making use of 5G to deliver the next generation of rich and interactive immersive experiences, Qualcomm said.
In addition to telecommunications operators, XR viewers and smartphones manufacturers, Qualcomm said platform and content providers will be critical in driving immersive content and applications over 5G.
Platforms such as the HTC-developed VIVE Wave allow for seamless cross-platform access and high-performance development to deliver extraordinary content. Other platform providers and application developers such as Arvizio, NetEase-AR, Iconic Engine, NextVR, SenseTime and Wikitude also are ready to support the initiative.
Some of the new Qualcomm Technologies partners are demonstrating at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.
Later this year, Qualcomm and its HAP collaborators are expected to work towards implementing a new easily-recognisable XR viewer performance and compatibility badge icon.
Qualcomm’s work with ecosystem partners aims to enrich the lives of consumers by turning XR viewers from a concept into a new category by the end of 2019.