Qualcomm shows off reference design for powerful VR headset with inside-out tracking

When Qualcomm announced their Snapdragon 845 processor they promised many VR-related capabilities, and now the company has unveiled a reference design which implements the chipset and which can be easily replicated by OEMs looking to deliver the technology to users.

The reference device is based the Snapdragon Mobile VR platform but with twice as much display throughput as the Snapdragon 835 version and 30% less power draw due to the Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem, 2K screens for each eye, internal cameras to track your gaze, with associated Foveate rendering and external cameras for room-scale inside out tracking.

Foveate rendering via Adreno Foveation lets the headset only generate high-resolution images where the user is actually looking, reducing GPU load, while inside-out tracking means a user will be able to move with 6 degrees of freedom without the need for external “lighthouse” trackers.

“We continue to deliver new advancements in technologies for our customers to utilize as they aim to capitalize on the growing standalone and smartphone VR industry,” Qualcomm’s head of virtual and augmented reality business Hugo Swart said. “With the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform, we’re supporting the next wave of smartphone and standalone VR headsets for our customers and developers to create the immersive applications and experiences of the future.”

Qualcomm says the headset will support popular platforms such as Google Daydream, Oculus and HTC Vive.

HTC was one of the first to express support for the reference design, saying:

“HTC has consistently delivered VR experiences with the highest quality possible catering to the industry’s most discerning users,” president of HTC Vive China Alvin Wan Graylin said. “By collaborating with Qualcomm and leveraging our internal hardware and software innovations, HTC has been able to deliver an uncompromising VR experience with the Vive Focus premium standalone VR headset.”

Qualcomm has not commented on Windows Mixed Reality support but has expressed support for Windows 10 on their new processor platform, which does, of course, have Windows Mixed Reality support built-in by default.

Via IBTimes

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