Company and Top Mobile Ecosystem Players Come Together to Deliver XR Viewers Tethered to Compatible Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Smartphones
Feb 25, 2019 – Barcelona – Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) announced today at Mobile World Congress, broad ecosystem support from world-leading OEMs, operators, and platform providers to deliver the next generation of mobile immersive computing experiences with XR viewers connected to 5G smartphones. 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. XR is the next generation of immersive mobile compute and with the significant benefits that 5G affords like high data rates and low latency, XR viewers can be optimized and commercial-ready for the mobile industry in 2019. To support compatibility requirements, Qualcomm Technologies has also announced it will expand the HMD Accelerator Program (HAP) to include and help pre-validate components and performance between smartphones and XR viewers.
“Our HMD Accelerator Program has been a critical catalyst for ecosystem partners ranging from component suppliers and ODMs, to bring quality standalone XR headsets to consumers,” said Hugo Swart, senior director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Building upon the momentum of this program, 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.”
XR viewers will allow smartphone manufacturers to bundle offerings at point of sale and bring new experiences to customers as the ecosystem unveils new 5G use cases. In the past quarter, XR viewer manufacturers have shown new designs that support USB-C connectivity, including VR viewers like the Acer OJO HMD, and most recently the nreal light AR glasses first presented tethered to a processing box with a Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform and now enabling compatibility with Snapdragon 855 smartphones. 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 commercialize Snapdragon 855 smartphones in 2019, the XR viewer initiative can expand the range of offerings to bring innovative content and a greater set of services to consumers.
Global operators including 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 – high bandwidth, low latency, and high quality of service – a commercial reality. XR viewers enable incremental service offerings making use of 5G to deliver the next generation of rich and interactive immersive experiences.
In addition to telecom operators, XR viewers and smartphones manufacturers, platform and content providers will be critical in driving immersive content and applications over 5G. Platforms like 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 like Arvizio, NetEase-AR, Iconic Engine, NextVR, SenseTime and Wikitude also are ready to support the initiative, and some of them will be demonstrating at MWC.
As Qualcomm Technologies continues to support ecosystem integration across XR viewers, accessories, smartphones and content providers, communication will be key for a seamless consumer buying experience. Later this year, Qualcomm Technologies and its HAP collaborators are expected to work towards implementing a new easily-recognizable XR viewer performance and compatibility badge icon. Qualcomm Technologies’ 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. This is made possible by Qualcomm Technologies close collaboration with the entire ecosystem and the tightness of relationships and technological knowledge.
“Acer is enabling a XR headset with high-resolution displays and 6 degrees-of-freedom positional tracking for Snapdragon 855-based smartphones. We’re ready to work with smartphone OEMs and operators worldwide to deliver the 5G + VR experiences,” said Andrew Chuang, General Manger, Presence Computing, IT Product Business, Acer Inc.
“During 2019, we will see a new generation of XR viewers enter the market that tether with powerful 5G smartphones to deliver highly detailed, life size 3D collaboration experiences for the enterprise,” said Jonathan Reeves, Founder & CEO, Arvizio. “Arvizio is excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies to deliver on this vision to provide rich XR experiences for multiple users extended across locations.”
“Qualcomm is a leading company producing powerful mobile platforms and is dedicated to developing pioneering technologies that advance the quality of digital life,” said Brian Tang, ROG Product Manager. “We appreciate the new XR viewer initiative and believe along with the supporting next-generation ecosystem it will definitely provide consumers with a step change in the way they perceive and experience immersive content over 5G.”
“Gamers have high expectations for the immersive experience of the game. The combination for XR viewers and our premium gaming smartphones will for sure give the best visual experience and game-playing experience for them,” said Peter Wu at BlackShark.
HTC VIVE Wave
“Our VIVE Wave SDK and platform has enabled mobile VR content development and interoperability across a variety of mobile VR headsets and accessories,” said Daniel O'Brien, General Manager Americas, HTC VIVE. “As the mobile VR industry expands and XR viewers powered by 5G smartphones emerge, our platform will allow for easy adoption and standardization of software and hardware support.”
“We look forward to providing our customers with transformative experiences through AR/VR viewers,” said Yasuhisa Yamada, Administrative Officer, Associate Executive Director, Product & Customer Service Sector, KDDI. “Qualcomm Technologies continues to drive ecosystem acceleration, and our collaboration allows us to bring innovative XR experiences as an essential part in KDDI’s integration of telecommunications and life design strategy in the coming 5G era.”
Mr. Lee Hyeon-seuk, Senior Vice President of KT’s Device Business Group, said: “Qualcomm Technologies and KT has a strong history of working together to drive innovation, most recently with cutting-edge 5G technology. KT believes that new 5G-enabled offerings like XR viewers will be instrumental in helping consumers take full advantage of all the 5G benefits.”
“We have been working closely with Qualcomm Technologies with regards to 5G. We especially look forward to a lot of cooperation for AR/VR devices connecting with 5G smartphones to provide customers with new experiences of AR/VR content.” said Junhyung Kim, VP of 5G Service Group for LG U+.
“We are big believers in AR glasses and how much change it will bring to society within the next few years,” said Chen Zhao, Head of AR for NetEase. “AR viewers that can be connected to Snapdragon 855 5G-enabled smartphones will pave the path for this journey to happen in 2019. NetEase-AR platform supports content providers to create, optimize, share and commercialize high-performance AR experience. We have compelling, vibrant ecosystem content and compelling content created for AR on smartphones that can easily and quickly be ported to the glass form-factor.”
“The increased resolution, high bandwidth, and streamlined form-factor of XR viewers connected to 5G handsets offer a big evolutionary step in immersive consumer devices,” said David Cole, CEO of NextVR. “As the world’s largest global immersive live sports, music and entertainment provider, we are continuing to evolve our platform to deliver the highest fidelity and most realistic immersive experiences possible for XR viewer users.”
“We’re pioneering the next consumer-grade mixed reality interface and by connecting nreal light to a 5G-enabled smartphone, it augments the real world and introduces a completely new way of interacting with environments at work or at leisure,” said Chi Xu, CEO and founder of nreal. “nreal light for the first time is lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for hours and boasts a rich immersive experience thanks to a crisp 1080P resolution display and 6 degrees-of-freedom SLAM tracking processed on Snapdragon 855.”
“OnePlus is delighted to bring 5G-based intelligent mobile products to consumers this year,” said Oliver Zhang, Head of Product at OnePlus. “Our goal with Qualcomm Technologies is to support key industry collaborations to offer transformative 5G experiences, and XR viewers demonstrate a strong offering that will deliver superior video streaming, enhanced entertainment along with other high bandwidth applications.”
Pico Interactive Inc.
“Pico has been working with Qualcomm Technologies for the past four years in the VR area and successfully launched a standalone HMD since Qualcomm Snapdragon 820,” Said Henry Zhou, CEO of Pico, “We utilized the HAP program to quickly commercialize products with good mobile experiences. Now we are looking forward to expanding our product portfolio to include the sleekest VR HMDs which will bring the overall user experience to a new level.”
“We have been collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies on multiple fronts. AR is the next mobile computing frontier and we look forward to collaborating with smartphone OEMs and platform providers to help create the market with our AR Platform,” said Dr. Xiaogang Wang, Co-founder of SenseTime and Managing Director of SenseTime Research.
"Through development of AR and VR technologies, SK Telecom built 'T real Platform' based on which 'oksusu Social VR' has been commercialized to deliver new and unprecedented media experience to customers," said Jeon Jinsoo, Vice President and Head of Media Labs of SK Telecom. "With the commercialization of 5G, SK Telecom will offer new AR and VR services that can be experienced by a greater number of customers, while collaborating closely with XR viewer related partners to expand overall AR and VR ecosystems."
“We welcome the advent of XR viewers as a low-friction path for 5G smartphone customers to access immersive AR and VR experiences in 2019”, said Ryan Sullivan, Vice President, Product Engineering and Development for Sprint. “We are investing significantly in our 5G network to make these types of experiences possible and look forward to the continued acceleration of the immersive compute ecosystem”.
Adrian Bolliger, EVP & Head of Mobile Business Solutions, Swisscom said: "Entertainment is just one use case of these immersive experiences over 5G. We do see many additional possibilities for our enterprise customers such as field service operations, maintenance, BIM-systems in the building industry, retail and many more. We are delighted to see the emergence of XR viewers to support both consumer and enterprise use cases to reach the masses with 5G."
Telstra’s Network Engineering Executive, Channa Seneviratne, said: “Telstra is committed to exploring new technologies and their potential use cases for Australian consumers, enterprises and the industry more broadly. We continue to work closely with Qualcomm Technologies and as part of our technology trials and testing, we continue to explore the range of possibilities that can be provided with 5G and emergent technologies including XR. This partnership is crucial to ensure Australians are among the first in the world to access 5G devices.”
“XR technology will allow us to deliver a truly immersive experience to our customers, by utilizing 5G and multi-devices such as smartphones, visors and smart glasses. Together with Qualcomm Technologies, we are designing and testing these new services at the 5G Innovation Hub we recently opened in Rome,” said Attilio Somma, VP Innovation, TIM.
“5G will be a transformative technology that brings all types of new experiences” said Fred Wong Vice President of Creativity and Innovation at Vivo. “We are pleased to join Qualcomm Technologies in enabling the XR ecosystem to unleash amazing experiences over 5G smartphones connected to XR viewers.”
Zhang Lei, Senior Director, Smartphone R&D, Xiaomi, said: “Xiaomi will bring 5G-enabled smartphones to consumers this year and XR viewers are an important step towards optimizing the full potential of 5G, as a way to offer premium content and take advantage of low latency and high bandwidth, and the many other benefits stemming from 5G.”
Qualcomm invents breakthrough technologies that transform how the world computes, connects and communicates. When we connected the phone to the Internet, the mobile revolution was born. Today, our inventions are the foundation for life-changing products, experiences, and industries. As we lead the world to 5G, we envision this next big change in cellular technology spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and enabling new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of health care services, and the IoT — including smart cities, smart homes, and wearables. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, the QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.