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Qualcomm shows what's possible for mobile VR with the Snapdragon 845

Qualcomm's reference design features four cameras that tracks your eye and body movement.

Published onFebruary 21, 2018

  • Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR platform, which looks to be more power-efficient and powerful than its predecessor.
  • The platform introduces features like foveated rendering and Roomscale.
  • There is no timetable for when companies will release mobile VR products based on Qualcomm’s platform.

Qualcomm unveiled its VR headset reference design based on the company’s Snapdragon Mobile VR platform. The platform uses the Snapdragon 845 chipset and introduces promising features for mobile VR.

One such promising feature is foveated rendering, which tracks your eye movement and lowers the resolution of your peripheral vision areas. The headset sports four cameras, with two facing inwards for eye tracking.

The end result is a headset that knows where you look and allocates most of its graphics resources to that area to deliver a sharp image.

Next up is Roomscale, which tracks and processes the location of the headset and your body without the need for separate cables and room sensors. The feature uses inside-out six degrees of freedom (DoF) tracking, along with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) for body and room tracking.

VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTCVive use room sensors that allow for room-scale experiences, so it is impressive to see similar technology incorporated into the headset itself.

Qualcomm launches its new AI Engine, works on existing Snapdragon processors

Elsewhere, the Snapdragon 845-based Mobile VR platform boasts 30 percent greater power efficiency and 30 percent greater graphics performance than the Snapdragon 835 version. Finally, the newer Mobile VR platform supports 3D audio and displays two 2400 x 2400 resolution displays at 120 frames per second, twice as much than existing headsets.

There is no timeline for mobile VR products based on the Snapdragon 845. The reference headset will be at Mobile World Conference next week, so expect hands-on coverage as we walk through the show floor in Barcelona.

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