Qualcomm believes that the future of XR is mobile. TechCrunch published rumors published that the Oculus Rift 2 headset was being cancelled, which catalyzed a larger discussion about the degree to which Facebook/Oculus is committed to VR on the personal computer. Facebook denied that the second iteration of the Rift was being cancelled saying, “we do have future plans, and can confirm that we are planning for a future version of Rift.” They’re also not commenting on the timing of their internal product roadmap, and so it seems likely that if there was an internal delay of the timing of the second Rift, then they’re not commenting on those private plans. But it seems reasonable that Facebook is putting all of their focus and energy on the launch and promotion of the Oculus Quest, which hopes to be an iPhone turning point moment that shows that standalone VR is good enough and affordable for mass consumption that will then catalyze a critical mass of adoption for VR technologies to take the VR ecosystem to the next level.

Qualcomm is committed to this vision of mobile and tetherless VR and AR since their Snapdragon™ 821 powers the Oculus Go, and their Snapdragon™ 835 powers the Oculus Quest, Lenovo Mirage, and Vive Focus. Qualcomm also announced a XR1 dedicated chip during AWE that will be used in the next generation of self-contained XR devices that will likely start being announced in 2019. At GDC, I had a chance to catch up with Qualcomm’s Head of XR Hugo Swart as well with Hiren Bhinde, XR Product Management and Strategic Partnerships. We talked about the Qualcomm latest Snapdragon™ 845 system on chip and development kit features that were announced at GDC and the Mobile World Congress, some of the future display technologies they’re optimizing for, as well as Qualcomm’s four-pillared strategy for supporting the XR ecosystem.


Here’s the announcement video for the Snapdragon XR1, which is the world’s first dedicated XR platform

Here’s Hugo Swart AWE presentation: The Making of an Ambient World: The Future of XR is Now

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Music: Fatality

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