Qualcomm Announces New VR Developers Kit and HMD Accelerator Program

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Qualcomm Logo Flickr ReuseMobile World Congress 2015

Back in November 2016, Qualcomm announced its new flagship processor called Snapdragon 835, which boasts 10nm architecture for increased performance and efficiency. Now, the California-based company has announced a new VR Developers Kit (VRDK) built with the Snapdragon 835 mobile platform, as well as an HMD Accelerator Program.

According to Qualcomm, the new VRDK is expected to be available in Q2 of 2017, while the HMD Accelerator Program is open now. Let us remind you that the Snapdragon 835 will be the first processor to run full Windows 10 on mobile devices.

Snapdragon 835 VRDK

The new Snapdragon VRDK gives developers early access to a powerful head mounted display (HMD) supported by an upgraded VR software development kit (SDK). Qualcomm’s new HMD features an AMOLED display with a 2560×1440 resolution and of course the Snapdragon 835 processor.

Qualcomm’s executive vice president, Cristiano Amon, said that with this new VDRK, “[the company provides] virtual reality application developers with advanced tools and technologies to accelerate a new generation of VR games, 360-degree VR videos and a variety of interactive education, enterprise, healthcare and entertainment applications.

The HMD included in the Snapdragon 835 VRDK has the following specs:

  • Display: Four megapixel (2560×1440) WQHD AMOLED display (two megapixels per eye)
  • Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion tracking:
    • Two monochromatic, one mega pixel (1280×800) global shutter cameras
    • Inertial measurement unit with fast interface Snapdragon 835 integrated sensor core
  • Eye Tracking:
    • Two monochromatic VGA global shutter cameras
  • Memory: DRAM: 4GB LPDDR4 and Flash: 64GB UFS
  • Connectivity: Wireless with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB3.1 type C (power)
  • Audio: Integrated Qualcomm Aqstic™ audio codec (WCD9335)
  • I/O: Trackpad on right side of HMD.

Impressive SDK with DSP sensor fusion

Qualcomm’s new HMD will come with an SDK which supports technologies that are crucial for an optimal VR experience. Snapdragon 835 VRDK’s software dev kit supports techs such as DSP sensor fusion. It also supports stereoscopic rendering with lens correction, foveated rendering, fast motion to photon, VR layering, and Advanced Application Profiling and Power management.

For the full list of technologies supported in the SDK portion of the Snapdragon 835 VRDK, check Qualcomm’s press release here.

HMD Accelerator Program

In addition to the Snapdragon 835 VRDK, Qualcomm has announced the Qualcomm Technologies HMD Accelerator Program. Through this, the company will provide tools to OEMs so they can bring Virtual Reality products to the market quickly.

According to Amon, the HMD Accelerator Program is designed to help manufacturers create a cutting-edge HMD effectively and efficiently. Qualcomm’s executive vice president noted that “Qualcomm Technologies has laid the groundwork for consistent, successful and flexible product development so manufacturers can have a commercial product available within just a few months.