Qualcomm reveal XR1 chip designed for AR and VRBy Robin-Leigh Chetty 30 May 2018 | Categories: news
For the past couple of years, some of Qualcomm's mobile processors have found their way into VR headsets, but the chipsets were not purpose built for augmented or virtual reality devices. That's about to change though, with Qualcomm announcing its new XR1 chip at the Augmented World Expo this week, with the latest offering forming part of the company's XR1 Platform as well.
Designed for use in less expensive headsets, Qualcomm plans to have the new chipsets featured in devices by the end of this year or early 2019. The chipset will not rival some of the premium options on the market though, with Qualcomm noting that in terms of processing capabilities the Snapdragon 845 is still a better choice.
That said, the introduction of the XR1 could mean that the barrier to entry into the VR and AR space would prove far less of a hurdle. As such, there may be a swathe of new low-cost headsets flooding the market within the next year.
As far as what the XR1 can do, Qualcomm notes that the experience is similar to what one may get with VR headsets that require a smartphone to operate like the Samsung Gear VR. To that end, it's designed for simply sitting and watching 360-degree experiences, rather than the more immersive options afforded by the HTC Vive or Oculus.
Whether we'll see a beefier VR chip anytime soon, remains to be seen.
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